The Rajya Sabha will take up the much-awaited Lokpal Bill on Tuesday amid concerns about how the Samajwadi Party, an ally of the UPA, will conduct itself as the party is opposed to the legislation.
To ensure that there will be no repeat of unruly scenes as during the tabling of the Women’s Reservation Bill in 2010, Chairman Hamid Ansari hurriedly convened an all-party meeting on Monday and appealed for cooperation. The Samajwadi Party skipped the meeting and later asserted that it would oppose the bill “tooth and nail”.
Significantly, all the leaders requested the Chairman not to use marshals to evict members who disrupt proceedings. Though there is no indication of any party seeking a division of votes but with the government moving about 18 amendments, Mr. Ansari is looking for cooperation of members even for a “voice vote’’.
The Bill provides for setting up an independent ombudsman to investigate corruption charges against public functionaries.
The meeting called on a day that the House had adjourned in the morning, was not attended among others by the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Shiv Sena and the Janata Dal (United). However, leaders of the BJP, CP(I)M, CPI, TMC, BJD, RJD and SAD were present as also Ministers Kamal Nath and Rajeev Shukla.