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Lokpal Bill to come up in Rajya Sabha on Friday

December 12, 2013 18:26 IST

The Lokpal Bill will come up in Rajya Sabha on Friday and is a "priority" for the government, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said on Thursday.

"Our priority is Lokpal Bill. The Lokpal Bill has to be taken up in Rajya Sabha, and then it will come up in Lok Sabha," he said, adding the government will list the measure in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

He also dismissed suggestions that there was any plan to curtail the Winter session of Parliament. Asked about reports that Government is considering adjourning Parliament sine die by Friday, he said, "There is no plan at the moment to curtail the session. We have allocated time for other businesses and we have a list of priorities".

He said the government also has to secure the passage of the supplementary demands for grants of the finance and railway ministries.

The Winter session, which started on December 5, is scheduled to end on December 20.

The government has assured Anna Hazare that the bill will be taken up in the ongoing Parliament session, but the anti-graft crusader has started an indefinite hunger strike to press for its early passage that entered third day on Thursday.

Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabh Sushma Swaraj accused the government of trying to cut short the session, thereby stalling the anti-graft bill and said her party is keen that it is taken up without delay.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party made it clear that it will oppose the Bill in the Rajya Sabha while the Janata Dal-United and the Nationalist Congress Party supported its early passage.

There is no question of supporting it, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said outside Parliament. Asked repeatedly why his party is opposing it, Yadav said, "This is a hypothetical question. First let it come and then we will tell you."

His colleague Naresh Agarwal, however, said "the government has lost the trust of the people so it should not bring any bill in the House".

Supporting the measure, JD-U leader K C Tyagi said the party is in favour of setting up Lokpal. "Anna has written to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Lokpal. We are in favour of an effective, transparent Lokpal. We will not oppose it but we will definitely give suggestion."

NCP leader D P Tripathy said, "We are for passing the Lokpal in the current session. Once it is passed in the Rajya Sabha then it will go to the Lok Sabha."

Asked how it will be possible since the session is going to end soon, he said, "The session is scheduled to continue till December 20 and there is no proposal yet to adjourn it before that."

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