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Lokpal all-party meet: will there be a consensus?

CNN-IBN
Dec 14, 2011 at 10:36am IST

New Delhi: The Prime Minister has called for an all-party meeting over the Lokpal Bill issue on Wednesday, where the UPA will try its best to achieve a breakthrough and it remains to be seen whether consensus will emerge on contentious issues.

Trying to build a consensus within the UPA, the Prime Minister met all allies on Tuesday night, including the new member Ajit Singh, who will be the new Civil Aviation Minister. Sources say that there is a broad consensus within the UPA to bring the Prime Minister under the Lokpal Bill.

Home Minister P Chidambaram, after the meeting said that a broad consensus has emerged within the UPA II. "The allies were present and they expressed their views on the Lokpal Bill. Ajit Singh was present for the first time. There is a broad consensus on the approach of the UPA II alliance," he said.

Under extreme pressure from the Opposition and Team Anna, sources say the government may agree to include Group C bureaucrats and the Prime Minister under Lokpal, but with riders.

The BJP, which also participated in Anna Hazare's open debate on the Lokpal Bill on Sunday, claims it will not accept anything that falls short of the two clauses.

The BJP and BSP have planned to oppose the Standing Committee's Lokpal Bill draft in the all-party meeting.

The BJP also plans to move an amendment motion on Lokpal if their demands are not met. The BJP will press for the inclusion of the Prime Minister, lower bureaucracy and Citizens' Charter under Lokpal at the all-party meeting and will move amendments in the Bill after consultation with other parties in case the government does not accept its proposals.

Earlier on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP leader Mayawati also made it clear that her party will not support the bill in its current form. She also alleged that the UPA was not bringing a strong Lokpal Bill in Parliament as such a move will affect the Congress the most.

The CPM also trained guns at the government saying they want the Prime Minister and Group C and D bureaucrats under the Lokpal Bill.

Meanwhile, Team Anna's Core Committee will also meet in New Delhi for two days from Wednesday to chalk out future plans, including the proposed Ramlila Maidan agitation, if a strong Lokpal Bill is not passed in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.

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