The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill passed by the Lok Sabha and discussed by the Rajya Sabha on Thursday would continue to sit in the Upper House for its passage at a session at a later date.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal said there were 187 notices for amendments to the Bill and some of them contradictory that needed to be reconciled and the process would take time.

The government would now have time to work on it since Parliament is scheduled to meet for the Budget session some time during the last week of February and the fate of the Bill would remain suspended till the government decides to bring it for passage. Minister of State V. Narayanasamy said the Government stood committed to the passage of the Bill and its intention was proved by bringing it before the Rajya Sabha.

In fact, when the Opposition said the session could be extended, Mr. Bansal said that in the House that since the year was to end in two days' time and as per convention, the first session in a new year started with the address of the President to the Joint Session of Parliament followed by the Houses discussing the motion of thanks to the President's address.

However, outside Parliament, Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said there was a precedent in 2004 when the convention was not followed. At that time, the Congress had objected to the move by the Vajpayee government not to prorogue the winter session the previous year and re-convene it before calling for early elections.

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