Lokpal Bill: Unanimous support in all party meet, absent SP remains opposed

Jan LokpalAs the Samajwadi Party remained absent and defiant in its opposition, all the other parties agreed that Tuesday would see the Lokpal Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha (PTI)

With the Lokpal Bill slated to come up in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, a near unanimity emerged at an all-party meeting at Delhi on Monday, but UPA's outside supporter Samajwadi Party remained a stumbling block continuing its opposition to the anti-corruption measure.

With an aim of breaking the logjam over the Bill, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari convened an urgent meeting which was boycotted by Samajwadi Party, saying it was opposed to it as the "whole decision-making process will come to a standstill".

BSP, which has openly declared its support for the proposed legislation, and DMK were also not present at the meeting. BSP leaders later clarified that the meeting coincided with their national executive meeting here.

After the meeting, which lasted for over half-an-hour, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said all parties that attended the meeting today were unanimous that the Bill be passed on Tuesday.

Asked about absence of representatives from some parties at the meeting, he said they were unable to attend it due to some reasons and the government will try and reach out to them.

"We discussed expeditious passing of the Lokpal Bill. All parties, except the Samajwadi party which was not present in the meeting, have expressed a desire that the Bill should be passed under all circumstances on Tuesday.

"All parties will continue to persuade the Samajwadi Party to join in, in passing of the Bill and not to obstruct the functioning of the House," Nath told reporters after the meeting.

During the discussions, sources said, NDA leaders agreed to passage of the Bill even amid the din, but were unanimous that marshals should not be used to usher out those opposing the measure in the House. The opposition is learnt to have been working with the government on the issue of bringing certain amendments in the Bill after the Select Committee recommendations.

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