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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

No 'understanding' with Govt on Lokpal: BJP

New Delhi: The BJP on Wednesday refuted suggestions it had an "understanding" with the government on the Lokpal Bill, insisting the party will stick to the dissent notes it had submitted to the Parliamentary panel dealing with the Bill and also move amendments where it does not agree.

Though senior BJP leaders maintained they were unaware of the contents of the Lokpal Bill and can react only when the copy of the proposed legislation is circulated to them, the party said it will not dilute its stand.
"There is no understanding with the government on the Lokpal Bill. Only when the draft is circulated will it be possible for us to study it and comment on it. We will try to give a preliminary reaction tomorrow," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.

He said BJP has already stated its position on the Lokpal in the dissent notes it gave to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice which was dealing with the existing Lokpal Bill. BJP members in the Committee had given 18 dissent notes.

The BJP leader insisted that his party had reacted "at times even harshly" to the government Lokpal draft, adding that the yardstick for this is the dissent note.

Jaitley maintained that what has appeared in the newspapers about the "basic features" of new Lokpal Bill is "a matter of concern".

"Like in the appointment of Lokpal the influence of the government is overarching, if the newspaper reports are true. The independence and autonomy of the CBI is not there; there is government control. There are several other questions on which it is possible to make comments only after seeing the whole draft," Jaitley said.

The BJP also maintained that the extension of winter session of Parliament was not a priority area for the party and it was only concerned about the content of the law which should be "reasonable".


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