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Rajya Sabha will discuss Lokpal Bill on Friday: Kamal Nath

Thursday, 12 December 2013 - 8:47pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: ANI

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday said that the Lokpal Bill will come up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

Declaring that the passage of the Bill is a priority for the UPA-II Government, Nath 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.

He also dismissed suggestions that there was a plan on the part of the government to curtail the Winter Session of Parliament sine die by Friday, as no business had been transacted for the past six days since the session had begun.

"There is no plan at the moment to curtail the session. We have allocated time for other businesses and we have a list of priorities," said Nath.

He said the government also has to secure the passage of the supplementary demands for grants of the Finance and Railway ministries.

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 third day on Thursday.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabh Sushma Swaraj accused the government of trying to cut short the session, thereby stalling the anti-graft bill and said her party is keen that it is taken up without delay

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party made it clear that it will oppose the Bill in the Rajya Sabha while the JD(U) and NCP supported its early passage

There is no question of supporting it, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav said outside Parliament.

Asked repeatedly why his party is opposing it, Yadav said, "This is hypothetical question. First let it come and then we will tell you.

His colleague Naresh Agarwal, however, said "government has lost the trust of the people so it should not bring any bill in the House"

Supporting the measure, JD(U) leader K C Tyagi said the party is in favour of setting up Lokpal.

"Anna has written to Nitish Kumar on Lokpal. We are in favour of an effective, transparent Lokpal. We will not oppose it but we will definitely give suggestion.

NCP leader D P Tripathi said, "We are for passing the Lokpal in the current session. Once it is passed in the Rajya Sabha then it will go to the Lok Sabha.

Asked how it will be possible since the session is going to end soon, he said, "The session is scheduled to continue till December 20 and there is no proposal yet to adjourn it before that."

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