All Party Meeting on Lokpal Legislation To Be Held Today

BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter

New  Delhi: The all party meeting on the much talked Jan Lokpal Bill convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is going to be held today to build consensus on the provisions of the legislation.

The meeting is unlikely to succeed as the government is yet to finalise its draft bill. Most parties are still undecided on the provisions of the Jan Lokpal legislation.

It is speculated that most of the parties may insist on single draft, which incorporates Team Anna’s concerns as well.

Activist Anna Hazare met Sonia Gandhi yesterday and insisted that final Lokpal Bill must include key points from the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Hazare has threatened to go on fast if his demands are not met.


Civil society activists (from left) Arvind Kejriwal, Shanti Bhushan and Anna Hazare (File photo: The Hindu/PTI)

Saturday saw two crucial meetings, Team Anna met Sonia Gandhi and presented its differences with the government directly to the party president, but there was no breakthrough.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) also held a parallel meeting and remained tight-lipped on its strategy. Political parties have cleverly deferred taking a stand or being hostile.

A consensus on key provisions is unlikely to emerge even one one issue.

The Congress party, Akali Dal, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) are against bringing the office of the prime minister within the ambit of the Lokpal.

The Communist Party of India (Maoist) (CPI-M) and the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) are in favour of it, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Janata Dal (United) (JDU) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) remain non-committal.

Ahead of the crucial all party meeting, Team Anna has left no stone unturned in meeting every political party that would give it time and sell its dream Jan Lokpal Bill. However, it was the same team that was unwilling to share a platform with politicians a few days back. There is a subtle change in strategy, but will it work?

For the moment, except for the Shiv Sena, all parties will attend Sunday’s Lokpal meet, but many have made it clear that they will spell out their stand only in Parliament.




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