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Lokpal debate begins in Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha Tuesday began discussing the much-debated Lokpal bill that envisages setting up of an anti-corruption ombudsman in India.

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj initiated the debate.

According to sources, various opposition parties have moved 56 amendments to the contentious bill that was introduced by the government last week.

The key amendments include giving the Lokpal an investigative wing, setting the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) free from the government's administrative and financial control and making it optional for states to set up Lokayuktas.

This is not the first time Lokpal bill has been introduced in parliament. Earlier, many governments have introduced similar legislations but they were opposed by MPs at the introductory stage itself.

The first time a Lokpal bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha was in 1968.

The government is confident of getting the Lok Sabha's nod for the bill as it enjoys majority in the lower house. However, the worry for the government is in the upper house where it doesn't have the requisite numbers.

All major parties have directed their MPs through issuance of whips to be present in the house for the debate and voting.

Parliament is meeting Dec 27-29 in an extended session to debate the bill.

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