Even as the winter session of Parliament is scheduled to end on December 20, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Tuesday said the government’s ‘intention’ was to bring in key legislations the Lokpal Bill, the Communal Violence Bill and the Telangana Bill.
“Our intention is clear. We want to do it,” he said at his monthly press conference. The Lok Sabha had passed the Lokpal Bill and it was pending before the Rajya Sabha.
“The Select Committee has recommended some amendments and with them, the Bill is pending in the Rajya Sabha. The Minister concerned has already given a notice to the Rajya Sabha to take up this Bill immediately,” he said.
To a question relating to the probe into the funding of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Mr. Shinde said an inquiry was taken up on the directions of the Delhi High Court and it was still going on. “We did not take up the inquiry on our own. It was on the directions of the High Court and after completion, we will submit a report to the court.”
However, AAP’s National Convener Arvind Kejriwal later told The Hindu that his party’s funding was “fully legal and transparent” and the government was welcome to go ahead with its inquiry. “It is not foreign funding but by individual Indian passport holders who are NRIs and it is perfectly legal,” he said.
Referring to the Communal Violence Bill, he said legislation was pending for a “very long time” and extensive discussions had been held on it. The Union Home Secretary recently held discussions on it with State Home Secretaries. “This is one of the promised actions that we have to do and we will do it,” the Minster said.
If any State had any reservation over any provision in the Bill, they could talk to him or to the Ministry’s officers.
So far as the Telangana Bill was concerned, Mr. Shinde said it was sent to President Pranab Mukherjee. The government was following the laid down procedure and after being considered by the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, it would come back to the Union Cabinet, which would recommend introducing it in Parliament.Electoral defeat
When asked about the electoral defeat of the Congress in the Assembly polls in Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, he said: “victory and defeat are not new and they keep happening in politics.” Under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, the Congress had stayed on in power for the last 10 years but such things (defeat in polls) happened in politics.
“If you go back a little, the Congress had won both the Karnataka and Uttarakhand elections. We have won in Himachal Pradesh too. Such things happen in polls. It is the responsibility of each party to see the reasons for such results,” Mr. Shinde said.