Panel still split over PM's inclusion under Lokpal

Sources said opposition members from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India-Marxist plan to give dissent notes to the panel on the issue.

Interestingly, Lok Jan Shakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan has also given a dissent note to the panel asking reservation for Dalits, backwards and minorities in the Lokpal.
Besides, a consensus is yet to be reached on the inclusion of the lower bureaucracy under the Lokpal.

While there is general consensus on bringing Group A and B staff under the Lokpal, some opposition members  are insisting on the inclusion of Group C and D staff as well. This apart, there is a consensus on granting constitutional status to the Lokpal and retaining autonomy of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Central Vigilance Commission, apart from keeping the judiciary out of the bill’s ambit, said sources.

Once the standing committee submits its recommendations to Parliament, the government can introduce the Lokpal bill. The development comes in  wake of reports on another day-long protest planned by Anna  Hazare on December 11 at Jantar Mantar, followed by a 10-day affair at Ramlila ground from December 27, if the bill is not passed in the ongoing winter session of the Parliament.

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