HEADLINES:
December 06 2019
Lokpal Bill debate at 11 am without vote
26 August 2011

Anna Hazare has been fasting for 12 days now, his condition is deteriorating, and every effort is now geared towards ensuring that his hunger strike does not go into a 13th day. At 11 am, Parliament will sit on a Saturday to debate the Lokpal Bill, with focus on Anna's Jan Lokpal, though there will be no voting. The debate will follow a statement by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, which will state the government's stand.
 
And, sources say, the Prime Minister is expected to send a personal letter to the Gandhian activist after the Parliament debate.   
 
The government hopes that Mr Mukherjee's statement and the PM's letter will make Anna Hazare will call off his hunger strike today. The 74-year-old has not eaten in 12 days; he has lost more than seven kilos; Doctors today said his blood pressure was low and his heart beat fast. Medical test results are expected this afternoon and doctors are now monitoring his condition closely and round the clock.
 
On Friday, he wrote to the PM, "My soul tells me, if there is consensus in the Parliament on the three sticking points then I will call off my fast."  On Saturday morning, a frail Anna sought to assure his supporters that, "I can fast for another three-four days, my protest will continue till the Jan Lokpal bill is passed."

 
The anti-corruption crusader has brought extreme pressure on the government to accept the three features that he wants included in the final version of the Lokpal Bill - the replication of the Lokpal model in all states; a citizen's charter for all government departments that clearly lists penalties for under-performance; and the inclusion of junior bureaucrats for review by the Lokpal. Anna has said repeatedly that without these three factors, any Lokpal will not be able to help people fight corruption. Government servants "from the villages to every ministry" must be covered, he says, by the Lokpal.
 
Team Anna has expressed hope that Mr Mukherjee's statement today will address those points. "Annaji wants that Pranab Mukherjee's opening remark should include the three sticking points," activist Medha Patkar said late last night after a meeting with government mediators.
 
Emerging out of the meeting, Patkar hoped there would be unity and consensus in Parliament on the three key demands. "We hope there is a consensus on the three key issues. We want unity in Parliament whether the debate takes place under Rule 184(that entails voting) or Rule 193," she said. The BJP yesterday finally made its stand clear on the Lokpal, said it backed the Jan Lokpal Bill and agreed for a debate on specific points.
 
On Saturday morning, Anna's activists are holding new rounds of talks with the BJP and the Congress to ensure that consensus in Parliament happens. The negotiating arm of Team Anna has worn a revamped look since yesterday - Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi, who spearheaded talks so far, are on stage at the Ramlila grounds, while Medha Patkar and Maharashtra spiritual leader Bhaiyyuji Maharaj have joined Prashant Bhushan in talking to the government and opposition parties. Ms Patkar and Bhaiyyuji Maharaj met BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and now the spiritual leader is meeting Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his team at the minister's home. Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit is present.  
 
The government's key trouble-shooter Pranab Mukherjee, the man on whom every eye will be today, has held his own meetings with Cabinet colleagues to finalise his key opening remarks.
 
In his letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, Anna Hazare apologised for any harsh words used by him or his team and detailed his demands were. He asked if it was possible to bring all three proposals to Parliament and said he was "confident that all MPs will agree to the proposals."
.
The debate that will take place today was meant to start on Friday afternoon, but was postponed after the BJP insisted that the discussion must lead to a vote. A compromise was then worked out - that the debate would begin with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee sharing the government's stand on what's intended as a historic piece of legislation.

Named for the anti-corruption, independent agency it grants, the Lokpal Bill exists in different versions. Anna's associates refer to their draft as the Jan Lokpal Bill or People's Lokpal Bill; the government's version, described as weak and self-serving by the Opposition and activists; a third version has come from Aruna Roy's group of activists; a fourth has been delivered by Jaiprakash Narayan and his NGO Jansatta. The Lokpal sanctions a committee of nine members to serve as an ombudsman. 



Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/lokpal-bill-debate-at-11-am-without-vote-will-anna-hazare-end-his-fast-today-129372&cp

 

 

Related Stories