New Delhi: In the wake of questions over the fate of Lokpal Bill, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed confidence that it will be passed by the Parliament.

"Had we not been confident, we would not have introduced it," he told reporters while entering the Parliament just ahead of the consideration of the crucial bill by the Lok Sabha.

His assertion came amid questions over the fate of the bill as a number of parties are opposed to it in the present form and want it to be amended.

Opportunity for MPs to be united: Digvijay

As Lok Sabha is all set to discuss Lokpal Bill, Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Tuesday said it was an opportunity for MPs to show to the world that they are united in the fight against corruption even as he took a dig at Team Anna for "making" Anna Hazare fast when he is ill.

"Today the Lokpal Bill is being debated. An opportunity for Parliamentarians to show to the world that they are united to fight corruption," Singh said on Twitter.

Quoting noted economist Jagdish Bhagwati that Team Anna after flagging the issue should not flog it, he said, "Now they are not even sparing an ill Anna by making him fast!"

"For a change shouldn't Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and the Bhushans fast instead of making Anna fast even when he is unwell. Team Anna being cruel," he remarked.

Hazare along with Kejriwal and Bedi will be sitting on a three-day fast in Mumbai to protest against a "weak" Lokpal Bill.

BJP will press for amendments

With Lok Sabha taking up the Lokpal Bill for debate, BJP on Tuesday said it will press for amendments and support parties seeking changes in the proposed legislation if there is common ground.

Terming the Lokpal Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 22 as "a weak bill", BJP's deputy leader in Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia said the party supports "a strong Lokpal Bill" and for an improved version of it, the party has moved certain amendments.

"While initiating the debate, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj will elaborately discuss the amendments and then during the day, before conclusion of the debate, we will take a final call.

"If we find that amendments moved by other parties or members are in common with those moved by BJP, we will support them," Ahluwalia told reporters after the BJP parliamentary party meeting.

The meeting chaired by BJP parliamentary party Chairman L K Advani was also attended by Sushma Swaraj and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.

Observing that the present bill will be "ultimately unable to combat corruption", Ahluwalia said, "BJP is in favour of a strong and improved bill."

Meanwhile, senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu said the bill in the present form is "not acceptable" and the party will formulate its stand "depending on the situation."

He was non committal about the party's support to the Government in Rajya Sabha, if Lok Sabha clears the bill.

"It depends how the Government responds to the suggestions," Naidu said when asked whether the party would help Government pass the bill in Rajya Sabha as it did not have majority in the Upper House.

"If the Government responds positively, we will act accordingly. As of now, it is one of the weakest bills," he said.

CPI to move amendments against Lokpal provisions

CPI on Tuesday said the Lokpal Bill in the present form was not "adequately strong" and it has decided to move a few amendments to strengthen it.

"Lokpal Bill in the present form is not to our satisfaction. It is not adequately strong. That is why we along with other Left parties are moving amendments to strengthen the Bill," CPI leader D Raja told reporters outside the Parliament House here.

Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill 2011 was taken up in Lok Sabha for consideration and passing of the same.

Raja said, "There are a few significant amendments primarily related to CBI and one is also Lokauykta. Our stand is that nothing should be done to undermine the federal structure of the government. Nothing should be done to encroach upon state's power."

On CBI, he said, "We are for CBI to be free from political interference and government control and at the same time CBI as an investigating agency should be made accountable to some authority."

BSP against exclusion of group C and D staff in Lokpal

Sticking to it stand, BSP on Tuesday said group C and D employees should be under the ambit of the Lokpal Bill.

"There is no change in our stand on Lokpal Bill. The class C and D were taken out from the Bill and put in the CVC. We are not agreeing to it. It should be within the Lokpal ambit," BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra told reporters outside the Parliament House here.

BSP is also opposed to Bill's provisions on CBI and Lokayukta. "CBI was not made independent in the proposed Bill. It is still under government," he said.

On amendments, he said, "There are so many amendments already being moved... we will see. But we have made our stand very clear on these vital issues."

(Agencies)