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Congress is blocking passage of Lokpal Bill: BJP

December 14, 2013 19:50 IST

In a sharp reaction to Rahul Gandhi's comments on the Lokpal Bill, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday alleged Congress and its allies are blocking the passage of the legislation and it is ready to support the measure even amid the din and without a discussion.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley charged Congress has been shifting its stand on Lokpal Bill quite often and the party is not serious about passage of the Bill.

"The government seems to have changed its heart again on the Lokpal Bill.... The Bill should ideally have been passed in Rajya Sabha on Friday itself. We reiterate our stand that it should be discussed and passed on Monday. If the Congress and its allies do not allow the House to function, then we are ready to pass it without a debate," Jaitley said.

The BJP has underlined that the recommendations of the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha, which studied the Lokpal Bill passed by the Lok Sabha earlier, are adequate and the new draft should be passed by the Upper House without much debate.

"In case there is no order in the House, I am ready to make my speech in the din," Jaitley said. The BJP has demanded both Houses should pass the Bill at the earliest.

However, two sticking points still remain and Jaitley insisted that the BJP will not agree to these clauses. It wants only the unanimous amendments of the select committee to be adopted. Jaitley said the government cannot interfere with the amendments made unanimously by the Select Committee.

"The government cannot have the right to transfer a Central Bureau of Investigation officer who is still probing a case referred to the agency by the Lokpal. Secondly, it should be upto the Lokpal to decide whether an officer being investigated for corruption or having disproportionate assets should be given a hearing before or after the search and seizure," Jaitley said.

Accusing the government of delaying passage of the Bill, the BJP said the select committee submitted its report a year ago but the Bill has still not been brought to the House.

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