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Aug 27, 2011, 03.34 PM IST
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee started the Lokpal debate in the Lok Sabha on Saturday, stressing on the necessity of staying within the Constitution. The House also unanimously requested anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare to end his fast, which has entered its 12th day.
"We are at a crossroads," said Mukherjee in Parliament, kicking off the debate on the Lokpal Bill. "We are being watched by everyone." He called for an objective, dispassionate debate, requesting that MPs try to seek a Constitutionally acceptable solution.
Mukherjee said that if a consensus is arrived at after the debate, the recommendations shall be sent to the Standing Committee. The Committee will examine the recommendations for applicability and constitutionality.
The House will take up Hazare's Jan Lokpal Bill along with three other versions of the Lokpal Bill including the one Government already tabled in Parliament.
Stressing that the Government is in favour of a strong Lokpal, Mukherjee pointed put that the Government formed a joint drafting committee half of whose members were nominated by Hazare.
Explaining the sequence of events from April when Hazare launched his fast for the first time demanding a strong Lokpal, the Finance Minister said that the joint drafting committee met nine time April 16 to June 22.
He said that there were 40 basic principles which Hazare and his associates put forward during those meetings. He claimed that out of 40 on 26 basic principles, there was an agreement, there were seven principles, on which in-principle agreement and on seven points there was an agreement but it required editorial changes.
"I appeal to the MPs to use this occasion to pass the Bill without disturbing the constitutional process. I appeal to the MPs to have an objective discussion on this, try to find a solution within the constitutional frame work without harming the democratic supremacy in the matter of legislation and resolve this impasse," said Pranab.
Pointing out that entire country and perhaps even the whole world was watching Parliament and how it will debate on the Lokpal Bills, Mukherjee said, "This is one of the rare occassion where proceedings of the House is drawing the attention of entire nation and perhaps world, as the largest functioning democracy is at a crucial stage. Whatever we do, we have to do within the framework of the Constitution."
"We have to keep in mind that everything we do must be consistent with our constitutional framework. We are at a crossroads, all of us want the agitation to end. The issues raised by Anna Hazare is important, they need to be looked into. After delibertaion's are over, we can arrive if possible on a consensus which will reflect the sense of the House. The Prime Minister assured this House that our Government is committed to bring appropriate legislation to bring transparency in public service. The Prime Minister made a statement in the Lok Sabha on August 26 reiterating Government's resolve on the Lokpal Bill," he said.
Tags: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Lokpal debate, Lok Sabha, Constitution, Anna Hazare, anti-corruption, Lokpal Bill, Parliament, Standing Committee
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