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SP keeps away from all-party meet on Lokpal bill

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New Delhi, Dec 16 :

The government’s efforts to get the Samajwadi Party to support the Lokpal bill in the Rajya Sabha appeared not to have made much headway as it kept away from an all-party meeting Monday called to drum up support for the legislation.

Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said his party is opposed to the provisions of the Lokpal bill.

Courtesy: badlegabharat.com
Courtesy: badlegabharat.com

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, speaking to reporters after the meeting, said all the parties discussed passing of the Lokpal bill on Tuesday in the Rajya Sabha.

“All parties, except the Samajwadi Party, expressed the desire that the bill should be passed. We will continue to persudade the SP not to obstruct the house… We will pass it tomorrow.”

The meeting was called by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) too kept away from the meeting, though the BSP has not voiced any opposition. BSP chief Mayawati on Friday said her party supports the Lokpal Bill and demanded that the government should ensure its passage in the ongoing parliament session.

Kamal Nath urged the Samajwadi Party not to disrupt the house on Tuesday when the anti-corruption legislation would be taken up.

He said two recommendations of the parliamentary standing committee that have not been incorporated in the amended version of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, would also be “taken care of”.

Kamal Nath said that marshals would not be called Tuesday in the house.

Ram Gopal Yadav said the party has reservations against the Lokpal bill and wants a discussion in parliament on price rise.

“We are opposed to the Lokpal bill and are of the opinion that if such a bill comes into force, no officer, no minister will sign on decisions on files in the entire country and decision-making process of the country will come to a standstill,” he contended.

RJD to support Bill

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Monday said it has changed its stand on the Lokpal Bill and will now support the anti-graft legislation.

“We have changed our stand. We are now supporting Lokpal bill,” Rajya Sabha member from RJD Ram Kripal Yadav said.

“We realise Lokpal is needed in the interest of the nation. So all parties should support it,” Yadav said.

RJD was earlier opposed to the Lokpal bill when it was introduced in the Rajya Sabha. RJD member Rajniti Prasad even tore up a copy of the bill in the House.

“We had differences on the bill but the select committee has amended it and it is better now. This bill is the need of the hour,” the RJD leader said.

The Lokpal bill will be taken up by the Rajya Sabha Tuesday.

The bill was tabled in the Rajya Sabha Friday but could not be debated as the Samajwadi Party created a din.

The bill could not be taken up Monday either as the house was adjourned after an obituary reference to union minister Sis Ram Ola, who died Sunday. (IANS)