Govt blames BJP for blocking anti-graft bill

Claiming that the Government had ''discharged its obligations'' on the Lokpal Bill, the Congress sought to lay entire blames for the Thursday night’s fiasco in the Rajya Sabha on the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

Rubbishing allegations that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government choreographed the ruckus in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Home Minister P Chidambaram said that the BJP had moved a large number of amendments in order to ensure that the Lokpal Bill was not passed in the Upper House.

The Government underlined that the Bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha, was still ‘alive’ and would be taken up in the Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session. The home minister also told journalists that the Government would work with its ally All India Trinamool Congress and other parties to address their concerns on the Bill ahead of the Budget Session and elicit their support for it.

Chidambaram said that the Government had made a commitment to introduce the Lokpal Bill in Parliament during the winter session and it had not only done so, but had also succeeded to get it passed in the Lok Sabha despite strong opposition by the BJP.

“The BJP, which opposed the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, did not want it to pass in the Rajya Sabha. So the party hit upon a new device and, with understanding with some other parties, moved 187 amendments to block the Bill,” said the home minister.

Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ambika Soni, said that the BJP was keen to cash in on Team Anna’s offensive against the government.

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