After eight unsuccessful attempts over the last five decades, India today took the historic step of enacting the Lokpal law by which an anti-corruption watchdog would be established that will have in its purview even the office of the Prime Minister.
The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2013, was passed by voice vote amid din created by members from Seemandhra region who were protesting against division of Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana state.
The Bill was already passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2011 but it came to the House again as it underwent amendments before being approved by the Rajya Sabha yesterday.
The measure got support from all parties except Samajwadi Party and Shiv Sena, whose members staged a walkout.
While batting for the measure, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said, “Lokpal Bill alone is not enough to fight corruption. What we need is a comprehensive anti-corruption code. The UPA government has prepared anti-corruption framework.”
He suggested extension of the Winter Session to pass six more bills which were “part of the comprehensive anti- corruption framework”.
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj supported the bill but attacked Congress for clamouring to take credit for it, saying “The people of this country and the old man (Anna Hazare) who has undertaken fast several times deserve the credit.”
With inputs from PTI