Lok Sabha passes Lokpal bill; Anna Hazare breaks fast
The Lok Sabha Wednesday passed the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011, which provides for formation of an anti-graft ombudsman.
The bill was passed with the amendments adopted by the Rajya Sabha Tuesday.
Activist Anna Hazare and his supporters celebrated the passing of the Bill that they had campaigned for years.
Samajwadi Party and Shiv Sena members, opposing the Bill, staged a walk-out in protest, as their counterparts from other parties, including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, supported the measure.
Gandhi sought extension of the Winter Session to pass six more bills which were "part of the comprehensive anti-corruption framework" of the UPA government.
"Lokpal Bill alone is not enough to fight corruption. What we need is a comprehensive anti-corruption code. The UPA government has prepared anti-corruption framework. Eight new central laws have been brought...We should complete the unfinished work of fighting corruption...Six anti-corruption bills are pending. If necessary, can we not extend this session of Parliament," Gandhi said as the debate began on the key bill to create an anti-graft ombudsman.
Noting that Lokpal Bill was part of this comprehensive framework, he said the RTI law was the first on the UPA list. The others which remain pending are Prevention of Corruption amendment, right to citizens for time-bound delivery of goods and services, public procurement, foreign bribery, judicial accountability and the whistleblowers bills, Gandhi said.
Swaraj supported the measure but attacked the Congress for clamouring to take credit for it, saying "the people of this country and the old man (Anna Hazare) who has undertaken fast several times deserve the credit."
Earlier, Speaker Meira Kumar allowed the bill, as amended by the Upper House, to be laid and taken up for consideration by Lok Sabha.
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