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Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal Bill, to be taken up in Lok Sabha on Wednesday

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 - 12:30pm IST Updated: Tuesday, 17 December 2013 - 6:27pm IST | Agency: dna webdesk

* In Maharashtra, anti-corruption crusader and social activist Anna Hazare welcomed the news of the passing of the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha, but said he would end his fast only after the bill is passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

* Hazare thanked all political parties for ensuring the passage of the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

* The government has agreed to incorporate a key amendment demanded by the opposition BJP, which allows searches or raids by the CBI or police on an officer accused of corruption without notice.

* The proposed anti-graft law provides for a Lokpal or national ombudsman to investigate corruption charges against public functionaries.

* “Anna Hazareji has appreciated the commitment of Rahul Gandhiji on this issue. We welcome Anna Hazareji’s appreciation and Congress party thanks Anna Hazare for appreciating Rahul Gandhiji for his commitment to fight against corruption and to bring in transparency into the functioning of government,” said Ajay Maken.

* "Passing of Lokpal bill is a landmark step," said Manmohan Singh.

* Lokpal Bill passed in Rajya Sabha with some amendments.

* The amended bill will now go back to the Lok Sabha which had in December 2011 passed the anti-corruption legislation.

* Anna Hazare who has been fasting was very happy as he hopes for the bill to be passed in the Lok Sabha.

* Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari moves motion on amendments suggested by political parties on Lokpal Bill.

* Voting on Lokpal Bill begins in Rajya Sabha.

* Laws won't deal with impetus of human beings who are corrupt: Kapil Sibal during Lokpal Bill debate in Rajya Sabha.

* BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad has also come out in support of the bill but has sought some minor changes in it. The MP also had a few words of congratulations for Parliament.

"Despite all the arguments, this has shows that when needed Parliament can come together to meet the nation's expectations," Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

He also said that through the Anna Hazare movement people had raised the demand for a Lokpal and praised the activist for his work on the issue.

* The AIADMK supported the Lokpal Bill but had a word of advice for the Law Minister.

The  AIADMK MP said that the government and minister should show the same zeal and earnestness in getting a consensus on other important legislation.

* The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Tuesday said the Lokpal bill was needed to contain corruption.

"We are against corruption at all levels. So we welcome this bill. We have always been in favour of this bill," BSP leader Satish Chandra Misra said during a debate in the upper house.

He, however, complained that his party was not informed about an all party meeting on the bill called by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Hamid Ansari. Read more

* The Communist Party of India-Marxist Tuesday said private firms giving bribes for government contract should also be probed by the Lokpal.

Participating in the Rajya Sabha debate on the amended Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, CPI-M member Sitaram Yechury said "supply side" of corruption should be addressed along with the "demand side" to curb corruption. Read more

* On the tenth day of his indefinite hunger strike, veteran social activist Anna Hazare "is feeling extremely weak", and has lost 4.70 kg weight, an aide said said.

"His health condition is worsening with the weight loss and the creatinine level crossing the normal levels and measured at 4-plus today (Tuesday), and the blood pressure was 142/82," Suresh Pathare said shortly after Hazare's daily medical check-up Tuesday.

As a precautionary measure, the state government has converted one chamber inside the nearby Yadavbaba temple into a full-fledged intensive care unit as the 76-year-old leader has refused to call off his hunger strike till the Jan Lokpal Bill is passed by parliament. Read more

* After a brief debate on lunch break, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien finally took the decision to have a half hour lunch break after the House could not arrive at a consensus. The Rajya Sabha will now reconvene a little after 2 pm.

Also read: Balbir Punj accuses Congress of encouraging Samajwadi Party to disrupt Parliament when Lokpal Bill is presented

* Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi has tweeted that the Lokpal bill will give the RTI sufficient teeth in the fight against corruption, adding that she was hopeful the historic legislation will be passed today, after 40 years.




* Lokpal Bill likely to come up for discussion in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

* Asserting that there is a need for a viable and credible Lokpal Bill, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the Central Government must rethink on the jurisdiction of the Lokpal. Read more

* The Leader of Opposition said that the bill was the result of the government realising which way the wind was blowing on corruption. It would have been better if all political parties passed the bill unanimously, Jaitley said. "Only those who are doing wrong will fear from taking decisions," he said. Jaitley said that "we must work together to pass this landmark bill." Read more

* "I thank all political parties for sitting here today to listen to the voice of people who are fed up with corruption," Sibal said. He said it was a time to celebrate given the consensus that has been evolved on the legislation.

* Kapil Sibal says passing of bill is a historic moment Law Minister Kapil Sibal said that the Lokpal Bill gave the Rajya Sabha a historic opportunity and said the Parliament was listening to the voice of people outside Parliament.

* The Samajwadi Party is protesting the bill in the Rajya Sabha again. Meanwhile the TMC is protesting the fact that the Lokpal has been taken up for discussion instead of the dismissal of Justice AK Ganguly.

After a brief intervention, the Trinamool Congress's Derek O'Brien is allowed to speak by the Deputy Chairman and he demands the resignation of Justice Ganguly. He acknowledged as well that it was important to debate the Lokpal Bill but said Ganguly's insistence of staying was a 'disgrace to men'. Read more

* Congress president Sonia Gandhi has now also publicly expressed hope that the Lokpal Bill will be passed by the Rajya Sabha today.

* After disrupting the Rajya Sabha, Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav met with the Prime Minister to discuss the matter. The Samajwadi Party has been strongly opposed to the Lokpal Bill and the Prime Minister will be hoping to convince them not to disrupt the proceedings anymore. But the question is will Mulayam Singh Yadav listen?

* MPs are protesting in the well of the Rajya Sabha against the Lokpal Bill even as Kapil Sibal was on his feet to read out a document. The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 12 pm.

* The Congress Vice President seems to have laid down the law for his two ministers and emerging after a meeting with him, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said that for the party will go all out to get the bill through the Rajya Sabha today. "We just had a meeting with Rahul Gandhi and he has said we must pass the Lokpal bill today," Nath told reporters on Tuesday. Read more

* The BJP has said that it is willing to back the Lokpal Bill without any debate on it. However, it has also said that the government should get the Samajwadi Party's support for the bill, reports CNN-IBN. It hasn't said that the SP's support is a caveat for its support. The Congress is unlikely to care for the Samajwadi Party's support as long as the party doesn't disrupt proceedings.

* The BJP may have seemed to be on board to pass the Lokpal bill but has said that they won't allow Parliament to function in the event that the Communal Violence Bill, which it is strongly against, is moved today. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar has said that they won't allow Parliament to function in the event the two bills are brought before the two Houses today.

* Congress Vice president Rahul Gandhi has written to activist Anna Hazare who is on a hunger strike and promised that the party is committed to give the nation a strong Lokpal. Anna Hazare in turn has written a letter to the Congress Vice President thanking him for ensuring the passage of the bill.



* Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who has taken up the passage of the Lokpal Bill as something the party needs to achieve, is meeting with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath and V Narayanasamy at 9.45 am, reports stated.

The meeting is likely to dwell on Parliamentary proceedings today and the chances of the party being able to push it through the Upper House of Parliament. The Samajwadi Party remains an obvious roadblock and the leaders will probably be finalising their strategy for pushing the legislation through.

* Arun Jaitley has moved a notice for the suspension of Question Hour in Rajya Sabha to debate and pass the Lokpal Bill. Sources said Jaitley gave the notice after the all-party meeting convened by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari to reach a consensus on the Lokpal Bill.

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