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Lokpal Bill to come up in Rajya Sabha today, says Sushilkumar Shinde

Friday, 13 December 2013 - 1:04pm IST | Agency: ANI

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that the Lokpal Bill will come up in Rajya Sabha for discussion today.

“Lokpal Bill will be taken up in Parliament today, discussion over it will take place,” Shinde told media here

Declaring that the passage of the Bill is a priority for the UPA-II Government, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday said: "Our priority is Lokpal Bill. The Lokpal Bill has to be taken up in Rajya Sabha, and then it will come up in Lok Sabha."

He said the government will list the measure for discussion and debate in the Rajya Sabha on Friday

The Winter session, which started on December 5, is scheduled to end on December 20

Meanwhile, the Government has assured social activist Anna Hazare that the bill will be taken up in the ongoing Parliament session, but the anti-graft crusader has started an indefinite hunger strike to press for its early passage that entered fourth day today

The anti-corruption crusader said that he won't buckle under government pressure and this time it will be a do or die situation.

“I have heard rumours that they will move me from here saying my health is not good. If this happens, then I will stop drinking water. They had betrayed us at the time of Jan Lokpal Bill agitation in Delhi. Now once again they are doing the same thing. If my health deteriorates genuinely, than you can do whatever you want. That why we have arranged for a doctor her e also. Our doctor and government’s doctor will keep a check on my health,” he said

“The Parliament session is going on and you should introduce the bill in parliament. The Rajya Sabha just has to debate on it. And I don’t think it will take much time for the debate. After Rajya Sabha passes the bill, then it can be easily passed in the Lok Sabha as they have done it earlier also,” he added.

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 IAC movement, launched in December 2010, marked 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

But “Team Anna” had lost some steam. When Hazare launched his third hunger strike in Mumbai, just before the New Year, very few turned up and he had to call it off prematurely because he was ill

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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