Pressing for tabling of the Lokpal Bill on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha, the BJP and the Left sought to corner the government which was not ready for immediate discussion on it.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, instead asked for taking up the Whistleblowers’ Bill on Wednesday so that the House can have scheduled eight-hour discussion on the Lokpal Bill on Thursday.
But, the Opposition did not agree and insisted that the Lokpal Bill should be taken up first. “We have been waiting for the Lokpal Bill since 2 PM but till now,there is no supplementary agenda,” BJP senior leader S.S. Ahluwalia said soon after the House approved the Constitutional Amendment Bill on granting autonomy to cooperative institutions.
Amidst heated arguments between Mr. Bansal and the Opposition, Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan adjourned the House a little earlier than 5 pm.
Mr. Ahluwalia said the winter session was extended for a particular purpose and “we are waiting...”, amidst uproar by the party members for not taking up the Whistleblowers’ Bill on Wednesday.
He was supported Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M).”If Whistleblowers’ Bill is taken up today, discussion will extend till tomorrow and then we will not get eight hours for Lokpal Bill, unless you extend the house (further).”
At this point, Mr. Ahluwalia interjected saying , “who will agree for it (futher extension).”
It was finally announced by Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan that the bills would be taken up on Thursday, to which the Opposition members said, “one after the other.”
The pleas of Mr. Bansal and his ministerial colleague V. Narayanasamy for taking the Whistleblowers’ Bill on Wednesday went unheard. The UPA does not have a majority in the 243-member Upper House.