The Bhartiya Janata Party, which had expressed its great displeasure after the Congress Party ‘back-stabbed’ it with a surprising statement by Rahul Gandhi, has been persuaded not to insist on a vote on Lokpal bill tomorrow.
According to Parliamentary Affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, the BJP and the government have agreed to have a simple discussion and debate on “issues relating to the setting up of a Lokpal” tomorrow.
While he did not spell it out, is that the discussion may be held under a section which does not require a voting at the end. Earlier today, the BJP had come out with a list of demands for the Lokpal and requested for a voting in the Parliament tomorrow.
A positive vote in favor of BJP’s motion would have given a sound legal footing to Anna Hazare’s demands on the Lokpal issue and led to the immediate ending of his fast.
BJP is yet to confirm whether or not it will insist on voting after the discussion tomorrow. The discussion is expected to be a day long affair, starting with leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee making a statement in the Lok Sabha.
The main issues of contention with Anna Hazare are the inclusion of the lower bureaucracy within the ambit of the Lokpal, the establishment of state-level organizations that will work with the Lokpal (called Lokayuktas) and bringing out a citizen’s charter.
BJP, on its part, also wants the Prime Minister to be included in the Lokpal’s ambit.