Both houses of parliament adopted a resolution on the sense of house accepting key demands of Anna Hazare on citizen charter, lower bureaucracy to be under the ambit of lokpal and establishment of state lokayuktas and power of lokpal to penalise grievance redressal mechanism violators.
The house adopted the resolution after closing remarks made by leader of house and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in reply to the day’s debate in Parliament.
Mukherjee said that the sense of the house along with the full record on the discussion would be sent to the standing committee which would then include them in its recommendation.Beginning the discussion in Lok Sabha, Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee said that this is one of the rare occasions when the attention of the entire nation and outside is drawn to proceeding of Lok Sabha.
He initiated the discussion in Rajya Sabha after he gave the introductory speech in Lok Sabha.
In his speech in both the houses, he outlined at breadth various sequence of events that occurred in the build up to the Parliamentary discussion on Lokpal bill.
Pranab Mukherjee said that government all through has followed established procedures in introducing the Lokpal bill.
Pranab added that the country is standing at crossroads and we need to find solution to the problem within constitutional framework without violating the supremacy of the parliament.
He said this is one of the rare occasions when the attention of the entire nation and outside is drawn to proceeding of Lok Sabha.
In the beginning of his speech, Pranab Mukherjee appealed to Anna Hazare to end his fast.
Senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani expressed hope that the discussion in Lok Sabha will enable a strong Lokpal. He appealed to Anna Hazare to end his fast.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said that BJP will vote in favour of all three issues raised by Hazare team if govt brings a resolution.She said history has given the House an opportunity to pass this legislation and it should not miss it by getting entangled in technicalities.
Participating in the debate, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said the debate should firstly limit its aim to reaching a consensus so that Hazare can end his fast.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said in the Upper House that BJP finds considerable merit in Hazare’s three demands, including covering entire bureaucracy and Citizens’ Charter for public grievances under Lokpal and setting up Lokayuktas in states.
On a question posed by Pranab Mukherjee that whether a central legislation can dictate state bureaucracy, Jaitley said that state legislatures can pass the bill as enabling legislation while the Lokpal bill serves as the model to it.
On other contentious aspects like bringing Prime Minister under purview of Lokpal, Jaitley favoured it with the exceptions of certain areas like national security.
On inclusion of higher judiciary under Lokpal, Jaitley said there was need for a National Judicial Commission, because judges should not appoint judges.
Jaitely found “greater merit” in having a Citizens’ Charter for redressal of grievances of the common man.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said he agreed ‘in-principle’ with the three issues raised by the team Anna but they will have to be implemented through constitutional procedures.
He said he wanted a new bill to be presented before Parliament which should be a “combination of best features of all the bills” including the Jan Lokpal Bill.
The Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar voiced concerns in Rajya Sabha over demands like bringing the Prime Minister, conduct of MPs inside Parliament and lower bureaucracy under Lokpal’s ambit.
Ashwani Kumar further said he was “distressed” by what was going on in Ramlila ground, where Anna Hazare is on fast for last 12 days demanding the passage of Jan Lokpal bill by Parliament.
Cautioning against provisions for appointment of Lokayuktas in states as suggested in Hazare’s Jan Lokpal Bill, he said, “No attempts must be raised which could raise doubts about our intention, about the integrity of our federal structure.”
He cautioned against rushing through the legislation “in haste or under pressure from people outside the House.”