Chairman of the Standing Committee on Lokpal Abhishek Singhvi on Monday said differences between Team Anna and the Government was not much on content but on the methodogy and promised to present an “acceptable to all” bill within three months.
“You and I are together as far the objective and content is concerned. The essence is similar if not identical and that is fighting corruption. There could be relatively minor differences in form.
“If the ways are a little different, it is because the government is bound by a structure and Parliamentary process,” Mr. Singhvi said when asked whether the Parliamentary panel could end up incorporating the provisions of Jan Lokpal Bill when it submits its final draft on Lokpal Bill to Parliament.
Noting that Parliamentary panels are given three months initially to give their report and it is generally followed by one or two extensions of three months each, Mr. Singhvi, however, said the panel headed by him will give its recommendations within three months.
“We will give recommendations on Lokpal Bill well before the three-month period given to us,” he said refusing to be drawn into a debate on the deadline put by team Hazare.
“Competition in putting up conditions is not going to solve the issue,” he said.
Mr. Hazare’s associate Kiran Bedi, however, reacted sharply to it saying “Singhvi had still not understood the fever. To see the heat generated, they need to see it live.”
Calling for “a little more reasonableness, restraint and flexibility” from both sides, Mr. Singhvi said the Parliamentary Standing Committees have the power make even up to 80 per cent changes in the originally presented bill before it and that “there should not be any doubt in anyone’s mind” about it.
If “suitable and appropriate” conditions are created, a solution is possible, he stressed.
Mr. Singhvi said one must not think that the Standing Committee will not consider the provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill.
“I fail to understand why a reasonable solution could not be found out,” he said.
Asked whether the government can introduce another bill on the same issue in Parliament without withdrawing the first, Mr. Singhvi replied in negative.
“As far as private members’ bills are concerned, there is a separate process involved and that is between the member and Lok Sabha Speaker or Rajya Sabha Chairman,” he added.