Govt to work with TMC on Lokpal Bill

Govt to work with TMC on Lokpal Bill

Even as the Centre attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the fiasco over the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha, it sought to mollify the All India Trinamool Congress—a constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance—and promised to work with it to address its concerns before taking up the proposed legislation in the Upper House during the budget session of Parliament.

Home Minister P Chidambaram has admitted that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had differences among its allies on the Lokpal Bill, particularly on the provision that mandates setting up Lokayuktas in states.

The Trinamool Congress had joined the BJP and other parties to move a large number of amendments to the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha, even after the government had moved an official amendment seeking to address its concern before getting proposed legislation passed in the Lok Sabha.

He said the government had tried to address the Trinamool Congress’s concerns by inserting a proviso that said that the provision for the appointment of Lokayukta would apply only with the consent of the State Government.

Though the government felt that the proviso was good enough to address the concerns of the Trinamool Congress and other regional parties, it would be ready to work with them to refine the clauses further to allay their apprehensions, he said.
“There are differences among the UPA partners. I would not go so far as to say that there is a pattern in confrontational behaviour (of the Trinamool Congress),” said Chidambaram.

He was replying to a question if the government saw a pattern in the confrontational stands that the Trinamool Congress, led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had taken on the issues like sharing of the waters of the Teesta river with Bangladesh, foreign direct investment in retail, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill and now on the Lokpal Bill.

Chidambaram, however, reminded that the provisions for setting up lokayuktas in states had been inserted in the Lokpal Bill in accordance with the August 27 “Sense of House” resolution adopted by the Lok Sabha and that the Trinamool Congress representative was present in the meeting of the Union Cabinet that had cleared the latest version of the government’s proposed legislation.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)