Lokpal is live without no constitutional status

Anna Hazare

By- Staff Reporter | Date- December 27, 2011

History was almost made on Tuesday night as the much awaited, debated and eyed Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 was passed in the Lok Sabha amidst furious debate. However, the parallel Constitution (116th Amendment) Bill, which would have given the Lokpal constitutional status was rejected in house to much embarrassment to the UPA government as the house did not have the requisite two-thirds majority to get it adopted.

It was just the usual blame game after the Constitutional amendment bill was rejected with Leader Pranab Mukherjee accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) of not helping to strengthen the Lokpal and Lokayuktas by giving them constitutional status. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who had first suggested that the Lokpal be given constitutional status in the same terms as the Election Commission, was speechless and dejected.

Ending a long debate that lasted over 10 hours, the Lok Sabha passed by voice vote the Bill for creation of the Lokpal. However within it, several suggested amendments moved by the Opposition, such as bringing corporates and the media under the Lokpal, were rejected. The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party staged a walkout, saying their demands were not being met. Other parties, including the BJP, the BJD, the JD(U), the RJD, TDP and the Left described the Lokpal Bill as weak and wanted it withdrawn.

Next, the Bill would be tabled in the Rajya Sabha where it has to be approved before it goes to the President for final consent. Since the UPA government does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha, the destiny of the Bill is literally at the hands of the opposition now.

On the other hand, Anna Hazare launched another of his fasts to against the Government’s Lokpal Bill which he called as betrayal of the people. However the turnout of people was very low as only few thousands poured in against the expectation of lakh supporters by Team Anna.

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