CMs' views on Lokpal sought

CMs' views on Lokpal sought

Move intended to reach consensus: Govt

CMs' views on Lokpal sought

Responding to the civil society activists’ threat to take to the streets after Monday’s meeting ended on a bitter note, Ho­me Minister P Chida­mb­aram and Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal said there was “no unanimity of opinion.”  

Chidambaram, who is also a member of  the lokpal drafting committee, said there “are many views. And all views need to be considered. It is necessary to seek a consensus.”
He said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has sent letters to the chief ministers of all states and political leaders seeking their opinion on the bill. He hoped that the wo­rk on the bill will be completed by June 30. Views have been so­u­ght, among others, on whether prime minister should be brought under the purview of the Lokpal.

Chida­m­b­aram said the high office “may be included”, “not included” or “included with qualification.”

Strong bill

Sibal said Monday’s meeting was constructive. “The government is going to present  ‘a strong bill’ during the monsoon session of Parliament,” he said. There have been differing opinions on six key issues, including bringing prime minister under the bill, structure of the body (single member of multi-body) and bringing ministers, MPs and judiciary under the scrutiny of the Lokpal.

These are the issues on which one cannot have a “take-it-or-leave-it” kind of attitude, the minister said in a subtle reference to civil society represented by Anna Hazare. The bill has been drafted by the Law Ministry and sent to all ministries for feedback.

But no draft bill has been approved by the Centre.  Responding to the press conference of Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal, Hazare’s team said consultations should not be limited to chief ministers and political parties.

“The government should organise public consultations. It should also consult other civil society organisations,” Swami Agnivesh, leader of India Against Corruption, told Deccan Herald on Tuesday.

The Centre has roped in yoga guru Ramdev, who had spoken against bringing the PMO under the Lokpal, for consultations.