The Congress and the Government sought to lob the too-hot-to-handle controversy over the shape of the Lokpal to other political parties, according to the statement issued by Kapil Sibal after the Lokpal meeting today.
“80-85% of the points have been agreed.. Where there are disagreements, to formulate a draft where those areas are spelt out so that when the matter goes to the political parties who are to be consulted some time in July, the areas of divergence can be put in front of the political parties,” Sibal said.
The Civil Society, however, emphasized that the consultation cannot be restricted to the political parties who face a conflict of interest in giving their inputs on an anti-corruption watchdog that will look over them. “The debate and discussion should not be restricted to the political parties.. There should be a debate and discussion with the people. The people’s responses should be listened to,” Prashant Bhushan said.
Sibal’s statement is a clear indication that the Congress does not want to be seen as holding the dagger alone in attacking Anna Hazare’s demands about Lokpal.
By lobbing the ball into the court of an all-party meeting next month, the Government is trying to deflect the blame and spread it over all other parties — if the latter are willing to shoulder the responsibility for saving the MPs and ministers from the Lokpal.
Other parties, however, have already refused to take any part in the process, while the BJP has insisted on the Congress coming out with its position first.
The two sides will now exchange their draft bills tomorrow, though the Anna camp was keen to get the Government’s draft today to show it to the people.