MPs belonging to the Left parties and their allies, including the Janata Dal (Secular), the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), staged a stir near the main gate of Parliament on Tuesday seeking a strong Lokpal Bill.

Holding placards and sporting badges against corruption, the MPs shouted slogans against the government and the ineffective Lokpal Bill introduced in Parliament. They criticised the Centre's “undemocratic” attitude of stifling the voices raised in support of an effective Lokpal Bill.

Rajya Sabha member and CPI national secretary D. Raja told The Hindu that the protest was part of a programme, organised countrywide by nine parties belonging to the non-UPA and non-NDA set-up. Such demonstrations would continue till the government moved and amended the Lokpal Bill.

CPI M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said the nine parties would take up the issue through parliamentary procedures as well as popular protest outside for an effective Lokpal.

On the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statements on the Lokpal issue, he said the former was making all sorts of statements outside. “The Parliament session is on and things should not be said outside. I think this is undermining the supremacy of Parliament and that cannot be allowed.” Whatever Dr. Singh and other Ministers were saying should be said officially in Parliament so that a debate could be held in the House, he said.

The former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda; Mr. Yechury; TDP floor leader Namo Nageswara Rao; Rashtriya Lok Dal president Ajit Singh, CPI MP P. Lingam and MPs from the Rashtriya Socialist Party, the All-India Forward Block and the Biju Janata Dal participated in the protest.

Meanwhile, Siwan MP Om Prakash Yadav (Independent) sat on a dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex.

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