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Government building consensus to pass Lokpal Bill, says Manish Tewari

Friday, 13 December 2013 - 5:45pm IST | Agency: ANI

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said on Friday that the government is generating a consensus on the Lokpal Bill, so that it can be passed.

“As a government, the best you can do is to ensure that the legislation is tabled. Then attempt is made to generate a consensus. This is what the government is doing,” said Tewari.

“We will keep talking to our allies and will see what the points of contention are and see as to whether they can be narrowed down, so as to pass the bill,” Tewari added. “The Lokpal Bill has a rich history. It was deliberated in the standing committee where all political parties were represented. Afterwards the UPA Government took the initiative to get it passed in the Lok Sabha. Then it went to the Rajya Sabha, and there was stand off on some issues. It was then sent to the select committee. The government is endeavoring to build the widest possible consensus to get this it through,” Tewari said.

Earlier today, the UPA Government tabled the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The demand for a Lokpal Bill was seen as a revolutionary anti-graft movement, which in 2011 not only drew tens of thousands of Indians united against corruption onto the streets, but also stopped parliamentary proceedings and dominated the headlines for days on end.

The India Against Corruption (IAC) movement, launched in December 2010, marked for the first time in India that both the poor and the middle classes were united against corruption in such large numbers.

Over the past year, India has been transfixed by a campaign led by Anna Hazare to force the government to create an ombudsman, which would prosecute corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. Hazare's initial hunger strike brought millions of sympathisers out on streets and forced the government into a series of humiliating U-turns.

The proposed bill envisages the setting up of a national anti-corruption watchdog to check financial mismanagement and corrupt practices that have deeply pervaded several democratic and civic institutions of India.

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