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Aug 15 deadline for Lokpal possible: Moily
Published on 12 Apr. 2011 10:28 PM IST
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Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily Tuesday said the Aug 15 deadline to pass the Lokpal Bill set by social activists could be met if all cooperate, and added that the government was keen on passing the bill.
“If all political parties agree for introduction and passing, that is a welcome move. Government is anxious, it’s keen on that,” Moily said in an interview to NDTV.
“The bill can be passed, if everybody cooperates,” Moily said, commenting on the deadline set by social activist Anna Hazare for passing the anti-corruption legislation.
“In fact, ultimately there is a need for harmonious convergence of views on the draft law, that’s an ideal thing which should happen,” he said.
Moily is on a 10-member committee, that has five representatives from civil society and five of the government, formed to draft the anti-graft Lokpal Bill. The panel was formed after Anna Hazare went on a four-day fast, demanding the civil society’s participation in drafting the bill.
Hazare later threatened to protest again if the bill is not passed by Aug 15.
Moily added that if some parties want to take the bill to a standing committee of parliament after it is introduced, the government would not be in a position to help.
“If someone wants to pass it to a standing committee, we will not be in a position to stop it. Once it is submitted to the standing committee, it is for the standing committee to expedite it,” Moily said.
“Parliament has got its own power, no government can scuttle that process. If opposition also cooperates, if they want it need not go to the standing committee or it need not be discussed and can straight away be passed, it is for parliament to consider,” he added.
The monsoon session of parliament is to start in July.
Advani hits out at anti-politician stance of Hazare supporters : Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Tuesday came out in defence of former party colleague Uma Bharti who was turned away from Jantar Mantar by supporters of Anna Hazare and said the anti-politician stance of some social activists as a “disservice to democracy”.
“I am of the view that those who revel in spreading a general climate of disdain about politics and politicians are doing a gross disservice to democracy,” Advani wrote on his blog.
“There is no dearth of analysts who hold that the popularity of these two personalities has a lot to do with the fact that they shun political personalities,” Advani wrote, referring to Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev.
“No wonder the news that Uma Bharti was turned away from Jantar Mantar,. It was done by some who claimed to be Anna’s followers,” he wrote. Uma Bharti was booed away from Jantar Mantar by supporters of Anna Hazare during his fast there last week to demand a strong anti-corruption bill. Hazare later apologised to Uma Bharti.
“It is an index of Anna’s innate decency, and his disinclination to believe that all politicians are corrupt that when he learnt about this he publicly apologized to Uma,” said Advani. “Despite the shortcomings of Indian democracy we still have conscientious and upright politicians in the country and it is they who still give people optimism and confidence for the future,” he added.

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