Congress and its allies blocking passage of Lokpal Bill: BJP

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Arun Jaitely

New Delhi, Dec 14 (PTI): In a sharp reaction to Rahul Gandhi’s comments on the Lokpal Bill, BJP today alleged Congress and its allies are blocking the passage of the legislation and it is ready to support the measure even amid the din and without a discussion.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said that Congress has been shifting its stand on Lokpal Bill quite often and the party is not serious about passage of the Bill.

“Government seems to have changed its heart again on the Lokpal Bill…. The Bill should ideally have been passed in Rajya Sabha yesterday itself. We reiterate our stand that it should be discussed and passed on Monday. If Congress and its allies do not allow the House to function, then we are ready to pass it without a debate,” Jaitley said.

BJP has underlined that the recommendations of the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha, which studied the Lokpal Bill passed by the Lok Sabha earlier, are adequate and the new draft should be passed by the Upper House without much debate.

“In case there is no order in the House, I am ready to make my speech in the din,” Jaitley said.

BJP has demanded both Houses should pass the Bill at the earliest.

However, two sticking points still remain and Jaitley insisted that BJP will not agree to these clauses. It wants only the unanimous amendments of the Select Committee to be adopted. Jaitley said the government cannot interfere with the amendments made unanimously by the Select Committee.

“Government cannot have the right to transfer a CBI officer who is still probing a case referred to the agency by the Lokpal. Secondly, it should be upto the Lokpal to decide whether an officer being investigated for corruption or having disproportionate assets should be given a hearing before or after the search and seizure,” Jaitley said.

Accusing the government of delaying passage of the Bill, BJP said the Select Committee submitted its report a year ago but the Bill has still not been brought to the House.

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