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'Lokpal bill sent to RS panel only after consultations'

May 23, 2012 16:19 IST

Rejecting allegations that the government sprung a surprise by referring the Lokpal bill to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal said political parties were consulted before taking the move.

"I regret that such allegations are being made," he said when asked about the claims that the government took help of Samajwadi Party to have the draft anti-graft law referred to a Rajya Sabha committee.

At a press conference in New Delhi, Bansal said the government was keen on the passage of the Lokpal bill even on the last day of the budget session on but it was battling with a number of amendments.

Asked about criticism of Team Anna for not bringing its version of the bill to Parliament, the minister said there has to be a difference between mobocracy and democracy.

"We have to differentiate between mobocracy and democracy. Government should be sensitive and sensitised about views expressed outside the House but we cannot turn a proposal made by a handful of people into law," Bansal said.

He said discussions were going on with the Opposition and other parties on amendments to the Lokpal Bill when SP member Naresh Agarwal suggested that the Bill be referred to a select committee.

Bansal insisted there was nothing constitutionally incorrect in Agarwal moving the motion in the Rajya Sabha and it was done in accordance with the law.

The minister said the names of members of the select committee, to which the bill was referred, were decided after consultations with all the parties concerned.

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