PM calls all-party meet on Friday over Lokpal
Anna Hazare has said he will go on a fast from March 25 if Lokpal Bill is not passed in Rajya Sabha.
New Delhi: In a fresh bid to end the deadlock over Lokpal Bill, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called an all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the proposed legislation which could not be passed on the last day of the winter session in Rajya Sabha amid pandemonium.
The meeting will be held at Singh's residence at noon on Friday. The Parliament will not meet on that day due to festivals like Gudi Padwa and Ugadi.
Government is keen on passing the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha even as the Opposition and social activist Anna Hazare have renewed pressure on the issue.
Hazare has said he will go on a fast from March 25 if the Bill is not passed while BJP has said in the Upper House that the debate and amendments to the Bill should be taken up from where they were left on the night of December 29 when the House was adjourned amid a din.
Lok Sabha has already passed the Bill. Under the renewed effort, government is planning to drop the clauses in the Lokpal Bill pertaining to setting up of Lokayuktas in states, a provision that faced stiff opposition from friends and foes alike.
A senior minister had said recently that the government was contemplating the move that would help clear the obstacles in the way of its easy passage in Parliament as also dismiss the opposition campaign that Congress was against the measure.
The fresh consultation is aimed at ensuring that the anti-graft Bill is passed in the first part of the budget session which ends on March 30.