Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi batted strongly for the Lokpal Bill, saying it was a “serious weapon to fight corruption”. Showing a new, proactive face of the party as he had promised after the recent assembly election reverses, Gandhi, accompanied by a battery of senior ministers at the Congress party headquarters said the Lokpal Bill was a matter of “national importance” and will completely transform the issue of corruption. “What we have now is a bill where we have broad consensus.
Congress party fully supports this bill and we would like the opposition and other party members to work with us and help us pass it in Parliament,” said Gandhi, flanked by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Law Minister Kapil Sibal and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy and Media cell chief Ajay Maken.
The Lokpal bill, which has been passed in the Lok Sabha in December 2011, will be discussed in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow. The winter session, which is scheduled to end on December 20, unless it is extended, is likely to be the penultimate session of parliament before next year’s national election. There is one short session expected in February to pass what is called the vote-on-account to enable the UPA government to meet its expenses till a new government is formed.
Gandhi said that the bill was among several steps the government had in mind to fight corruption. He refused to entertain any other question and got up when questions were asked regarding the recent Assembly elections and inflation. This was his third interaction with the media within a week, a far cry from the earlier Gandhi who shied away from media in the national capital and has been criticised for it.