Differences on Lokpal bill narrowed down: Government

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 Stating that differences on the Lokpal bill have been narrowed down, the government on Monday said it is trying to build consensus on major issues ahead of bringing the bill before parliament again.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy said the main differences on the Lokpal bill were narrowed down to five to six issues after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met the floor leaders of all parties in the Rajya Sabha.

“To my mind, after discussions with the political leaders, the difference of opinion has been narrowed down to five to six points,” Narayanasamy told reporters here.

He said that the total number of amendments to the Lokpal bill moved by members in this session were nearly 149.

“We are engaging with various political leaders and trying to bring consensus on major issues, and trying to bring the bill before parliament,” he said.

The minister also added that though the bill was a government priority, things depended on “the discussions with the political parties”.

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal also hoped for peaceful debate and passage of key legislations in parliament’s next sitting during the on-going budget session.

“The opposition will raise the issues it wants to raise and the government will discuss the bills which need to be passed,” Sibal said.

The second half of parliament’s budget session starts Tuesday. The opposition has been pressing for the passage of the Lokpal bill in the current session.

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