Will UPA accept Anna's demands on Lokpal at all-party meet?
After the all party meeting on Wednesday, the Union cabinet is likely to meet either on Sunday or Monday morning to clear the bill after which it will be placed before the house, possibly by December 20, reports Renu Mittal.
Unwilling to remain defensive and on the backfoot over issues of corruption, the United Progressive Alliance leadership is under pressure from various party MPs to give in to some of the demands of the opposition and bring out what looks like a tough Lokpal bill.
Sources have said that when the all party meeting takes place on Wednesday evening, the government is expected to put forward proposals that will make it difficult for the opposition not to support the Lokpal bill.
It is learnt that the government is willing to bring the prime minister under the Lokpal but with certain conditions. This will be discussed in the UPA meeting called on Wednesday morning. The lower judiciary is also likely to be included, which will also address the demand made by Anna Hazare.
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Image: Leaders of opposition participated in the public debate on Lokpal Bill at Jantar Mantar
No consensus on CBI under Lokpal
However, the issue of the Central Bureau of Investigation remains a contentious one. While Anna Hazare wants the CBI to report to the Lokpal, the government is trying to persuade the Bharatiya Janata Party not to press for this, as this will create problems for the premier investigative agency. The BJP leaders have also said that they want the CBI to function independently and be out of government control. There is a suggestion that the CBI may inform the Lokpal about its actions but the views on the CBI are still mixed up and no clear consensus has emerged.
After the all party meeting, the Union cabinet is likely to meet either on Sunday or Monday morning after the prime minister returns from Russia. The cabinet will clear the bill after which it will be placed before the house, possibly by December 20. The winter session ends on December 22, which does not give the government much time to pass the bill in both the houses and make it law.
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Hazare to sit on fast from Dec 27 if Lokpal bill not passed
Anna Hazare has promised to sit on fast from December 27 if the Lokpal bill is not passed and this could create another explosive situation for the government if the bill is not passed.
While the Congress has once again repeated that Hazare is working on the political agenda of the BJP-RSS to destabilize a democratically elected government, it is significant that the left parties, whose space is shrinking also decided to ride piggy back on the Hazare bandwagon.