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Gov looking into parties’ amendments for Lokpal bill: Narayanasamy

The central government seems to have decided to rethink its strategy with regard to the presentation of the Lokpal bill in Parliament, according to remarks by V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, at the All-India Editors’ Conference on Social Sector Issues.

While the government had previously maintained that it had brought out as good an anti-corruption bill as possible in the shape of the Lokpal bill of 2011, Narayanasamy today said it is “looking into” suggestions by other political parties.

The government was forced to cancel the presentation of the bill in the upper house of the Parliament in December after it became clear that many parties, including some of its own allies, would vote against it.

While the opposition parties, including the BJP, opposed the bill for being too weak, some of Congress Party’s allies, such as the RJD, opposed it for being too strong or drastic.

The Government was criticised for trying to ram through a bill that was too weak to assuage anti-corruption crusaders, yet too strong to pass muster with opponents of the Lokpal movement.

The failure to pass the bill gave opposition parties and the government’s critics a stick to beat the Congress Party with in the current state elections. The Congress had promised to pass the bill under any circumstances in December.

Samy seemed to reiterate that a bill will be passed, though he did not give any time frame. The Lokpal bill has been in the works for about 40 years.

“Narayanasamy said the government has passed Lokpal Bill in the Lok Sabha but due to lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha, the Bill is still not through. He said the government is committed to bring a strong and effective Lokpal Bill and, therefore, looking into the various amendments suggested in the Rajya Sabha,” an official statement from the Government on Saturday said.

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