New Delhi: The new Lokpal Bill will be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday and will be taken up for discussion on December 27 during the extended session of the Parliament. JPN/Bureau
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pawan Kumar Bansal on Thursday said eight hours have been earmarked for discussion in each House.
The Bill will be circulated to members before introduction on Thursday after securing the mandatory assent from the President since there was some financial implication in it.
The government has extended the Winter session of the Parliament for three days from December 27 to 29, after a four-day Christmas break, for facilitating passage of the Lokpal Bill.
After its expected passage in the Lok Sabha on December 27, the Bill will come up in the Rajya Sabha the next day.
Parliament will also discuss the Whistleblowers Bill and the Judicial Accountability Bill during the extended session.
While the Lok Sabha will discuss the Whistleblowers Bill along with the Lokpal Bill, the Upper House will discuss both the Bills separately.
SP, RJD, Shiv Sena oppose Lokpal
Meanwhile giving clear indications that the Lokpal Bill to be tabled in the Parliament on Thursday will not be allowed a smooth sailing, Samajwadi Party, RJD and Shiv Sena today expressed strong opposition to it, contending that "all powers" would go to police and "new Gaddafi" would take birth.
SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad made their opposition known in the Lok Sabha after BSP raised an unrelated issue of manhandling of one of its MPs by SPG personnel inside Parliament complex.
SP said it would move amendments to the bill that is to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. Yadav warned the government that the proposed legislation would give "all powers" to the police.
"Lokpal will not be in your hands. It will go to the hands of police. Nothing can be done then against the police," he said and apparently referred to Anna Hazare as he asked whether all this could be done "under pressure of one man". He said his party will oppose as much as it can.
"These powers will go to the police, they will not respect us (MPs). Superintendents of Police and District Magistrates will send us to jail," Yadav said. "Think over it seriously as to whom you are going to give powers," Yadav told the government.
"May you have the powers, I have no objection. Let the Prime Minister have the powers, let (Sharad) Pawar 'sahab' have the powers, I have no objection. But by giving all powers to the police, what do you want to do with this country?...This incident (of manhandling) has happened today. See what happens when Lokpal comes," the Samajwadi Party chief said.
Lalu Prasad joined Yadav, saying that he had not raised any insignificant issue but the government was not paying attention as if it had "disappeared".
Suspecting something fishy, Prasad said all details about the Lokpal Bill should be conveyed to them before they decide whether to pass it or not. He said there should be "consensus" before the bill is brought to Parliament as a decision on such major issue could not be taken without thinking.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party spokesman Mohan Singh told reporters outside Parliament that the Lokpal Bill cleared by the Cabinet on Tuesday didn't generate any hope about creating a strong anti-corruption body and it would move amendments on the issue during discussion in the Parliament.
Observing that the Government had given an assurance to the opposition parties on creation of a strong Lokpal, the SP leader said it would be difficult to expect a strong Lokpal given the draft Bill that has emerged.
Shiv Sena General Secretary Sanjay Raut feared the ombudsman could control the nation and appealed to all parties to stop a "new Gaddafi" from taking birth.
Declaring that creation of the Lokpal was not the only way to eradicate corruption, Raut said the passage of the bill could lead to the ombudsman controlling the nation.
"Stop a new Gaddafi from taking birth in the interest of the nation and Parliamentary democracy", he said.
Noting that Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackarey has been the first party chief to come out against the creation of the Lokpal to maintain supremacy of Parliament and its representatives, he said that other parties needed to follow suit.
BJP denies 'understanding' with Centre
BJP on Thursday refuted suggestions it had an "understanding" with the government on the Lokpal Bill, insisting the party will stick to the dissent notes it had submitted to the Parliamentary panel dealing with the Bill and also move amendments where it does not agree.
Though senior BJP leaders maintained they were unaware of the contents of the Lokpal Bill and can react only when the copy of the proposed legislation is circulated to them, the party said it will not dilute its stand.
"There is no understanding with the government on the Lokpal Bill. Only when the draft is circulated will it be possible for us to study it and comment on it. We will try to give a preliminary reaction tomorrow," Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told reporters.
He said BJP has already stated its position on the Lokpal in the dissent notes it gave to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice which was dealing with the existing Lokpal Bill. BJP members in the Committee had given 18 dissent notes.
Jaitley maintained that what has appeared in the newspapers about the "basic features" of new Lokpal Bill is "a matter of concern".
The BJP also maintained that the extension of winter session of Parliament was not a priority area for the party and it was only concerned about the content of the law which should be "reasonable".
New Delhi: The new Lokpal Bill will be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday and will be taken up for discussion on December 27 during the extended session of the Parliament.