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Rediff.com  » News » Pranab does what he does best: troubleshoots over Lokpal bill

Pranab does what he does best: troubleshoots over Lokpal bill

December 29, 2011 20:06 IST
Amid the government's last-ditch efforts to enlist support for the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday met leaders of parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal to persuade them to give up their opposition to the legislation.

Mukherjee, along with Parliamentary Affairs Minister PK Bansal and Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal, held meetings with BSP leader Satish C Mishra and RJD chief Lalu Prasad as the debate was underway in the Rajya Sabha.

The BSP has 18 members and the RJD four in the 243-member House.

Sources said Mishra and Prasad were asked about the stand of their parties on the Lokpal Bill and how they would vote.

Mishra told Mukherjee that the BSP was opposed to the Lokayukta provision as it goes against the sprit of federalism.

The government side told him that it would get back, the sources said.

The BSP remained firm on its opposition to the clauses on Lokayukta although it has not moved any amendment. There were also indications that BSP members would not walk out during the vote.

Meanwhile, in indications of further problems for the government, two Congress members, P Kannan and Vijay Darda, were not present in the House during the debate. Congress has 71 members, altogether.

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