BAC to decide on Lokpal Bill in RS: Pranab, BJP criticises delay

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As uncertainty hung over Lokpal Bill coming up in the Rajya Sabha in the current Parliament session ending on May 22, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday night said the House's Business Advisory Committee will take a decision.

"Only two (working) days are there....The Business Advisory Committee will have to take it(Bill) up," Mukherjee, Leader of Lok Sabha, said, adding. "You will have to wait for the next few days."

Mukjerjee made the comment when newsmen in Kolkata asked him whether any decision has been taken on the issue of bringing the Lokpal Bill in the Upper House in the current session itself.

BJP said the legislation should be passed before the end of the current session, criticising the Union government over the delay in the passage of the Bill for creating an anti-corruption ombudsman.

"Four ministers from the government had met the Opposition leaders on the Lokpal Bill issue. BJP had given suggestions on it and the party is ready to support them in the Parliament. Two(working) days are remaining for the session to end and we expect the government to pass the Bill," BJP national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said at a press conference in Mumbai.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi deliberated on Friday on the way ahead for the much-debated legislation. There have been indications that the government is now having second thoughts on bringing the bill in this session.

This was because differences still persist on some of the issues despite the government holding consultations on it with leaders of a number of political parties, sources said.

On Wednesday, Minister Minister of State of Personnel V. Narayanasami had said that the government stands by the committment to bring the bill in the present session. The amended form of the bill includes deletion of the controversial provision for Lokayukta creation and bringing more transparency in appointment of CBI chief.

Debate on the bill, passed by the Lok Sabha in December last year, could not be completed in the upper house during the last Winter session due to technical reasons.

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