New Delhi: BJP and Team Anna on Wednesday did not appear enthused by the government move to make the proposed Lokpal a constitutional body, saying it seemed to be a "delaying" tactic to prevent establishment of a strong anti-corruption ombudsman.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar alleged that government was only making statements on its strategy on the Lokpal issue only to buy time.

"Even the debate that the proposed Lokpal should be made a constitutional authority is a diversionary tactic and a time- killing activity adopted by the Congress to delay the establishment of a Lokpal," he said.

"As far as we know, every law is Constitutional. The whole country and the opposition want that a strong and effective Lokpal should be established," he added.

Team Anna, which had started a campaign for a Jan Lokpal Bill, felt this was a tactic to delay or avoid its passage and "fool" the people.

"If government is serious on Lokpal, it should first pass the bill by winter session. Constitutional status is a sure means to delay or avoid the passage of the bill," activist Kiran Bedi, a close associate of Anna Hazare, said.

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi had first mooted the idea of making the Lokpal a Constitutional body on the lines of the Election Commission.

Khurshid said a Constitutional amendment bill is to be introduced in the Winter session of Parliament starting next month and the Lokpal legislation is expected to be approved in the same session.

However, BJP is not convinced and wants an effective Lokpal Bill to be passed after bringing an amended Bill in the Winter Session of Parliament.

"The government wants to run away from this commitment and that is why it is raising such diversionary issues," Javadekar said.

Bedi said the plans to make Lokpal a Constitutional authority was like "putting the cart before the horse. It's like, no bread (but) keep waiting for the illusionary cake. Who are they fooling?"

The move for a Constitutional body is a follow-up to the proposal made by Rahul Gandhi at last month's Lok Sabha debate on Lokpal.

Centre allays fears on Lokpal delay

A day after announcing that Lokpal will have Constitutional status, Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday allayed fears that the move will delay passage of the bill.

"It will not be. Let us not do everything on the basis of mistrust. Let us do it on the basis of trust...why should people have any reason to believe that if we want to give it higher status, it will be done in order to delay it," Khurshid said here.

He was responding to questions on whether making Lokpal a constitutional body will delay its passage in Parliament. The Minister said the government was committed to early passage of the Bill.

"Our commitment is next session (Winter session) of Parliament. Let us wait for the next session of Parliament. That's our commitment, the Prime Minister's commitment.

"We are working on a very strong Lokpal Bill. A Lokpal Bill that will come with a Constitutional amendment. That amendment will give the Lokpal the status of a Constitutional authority," he had said last night.

The Lokpal will be "more powerful than the Election Commission" and "will have far greater powers". Its profile and stature will be "much higher", Khurshid had said.

(Agencies)