Lokpal bill up for debate in Rajya Sabha (Lead)December 29th, 2011 - 1:28 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) The government Thursday tabled the anti-graft Lokpal bill in the Rajya Sabha, which had to be adjourned briefly as the opposition insisted on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being present in the house.
The prime minister, the leader of the house, was in place when the Rajya Sabha met after the brief 10-minute adjournment.
The bill, passed by the Lok Sabha Tuesday night was tabled by Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy as the government was still scrambling for numbers to pass the key legislation that will set up an all-powerful anti-graft ombudsman at the centre as well as in states.
Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley initiated the debate.
There is a sense of uncertainty prevailing over the fate of the Lokpal bill in the Rajya Sabha. The government is in minority in the upper house and its worries multiplied after the Congress’ key ruling partner Trinamool Congress threatened to vote against the bill over a provision that makes it mandatory for states to set up an ombudsman.
The government expressed the hope that its allies would help in the passage of the bill to avoid the possibility of convening a joint session of parliament, in case the bill fails in the Rajya Sabha.
“I hope that everyone will come around. We will have to carry everybody and pass the bill,” Narayanasamy told reporters outside parliament before moving the bill.
Earlier in the day, the opposition, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), demanded the prime minister’s presence in the house.
Chairman Hamid Ansari tried to pacify members saying he was on his way. As the opposition continued to insist on its demand, the house was adjourned by the chairman for 10 minutes.
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Tags: adjournment, anti graft, arun, bharatiya janata party, bjp, hamid ansari, joint session, leader of opposition, Lok Sabha, manmohan, manmohan singh, minister of state, New Delhi, ombudsman, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, rajya sabha, trinamool congress, upper house, worries