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BJP for strong Lokpal, not a weak one, says Jaitley

December 29, 2011 - New Delhi

Opposing the Government's Lokpal Bill, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley on Thursday said we don't want a weak and hollow law.

"We don't want a weak and hollow law. We will oppose this with fervor. We are here today with the hope that the government's weak bill will be rejected by this House," Jaitley said.

"But this House should also not leave today without delivering a strong law. So let us accept amendments suggested by other parties, if they make this law stronger. Let us show we can deliver an effective law. Parliament and politics both have great power and strength," he added

Asserting that this is a half-hearted legislation, Jaitley said: " Our laws are strong. Investigative machinery and organizations are subject to government pressure. So the reforms needed are strong. And I regret to say this is a half-hearted legislation."

Taking a dig at Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, Jaitley said: "You wanted to create a phony Lokpal and create a smokescreen that we are giving it Constitutional status. You wanted to make it a toy and then say it's a constitutional authority. Country does not need this sort of Lokpal."

Earlier, while moving the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy said that the UPA was committed to tackling corruption.

"The credit for the Lokpal Bill goes to the UPA Government. For 40 years, discussions on Lokpal Bill have been held for a bill to help citizens who have many complaints. In April 2011, civil society organizations said Lokpal Bill should come as soon as possible. So, Government tried new experiment - to get views of civil society like Anna Hazare and others. So Finance Minister and others worked with them on Lokpal Bill. Both sides deliberated on it."

The Lokpal Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday to create an anti-corruption body. However, it failed to give it a Constitutional status.

The Constitution (116th Amendment) Bill was defeated by a determined Opposition, helped by the absence of parties supporting the government from outside like SP, BSP and RJD.

A Constitution Amendment Bill to be passed should have more than 50 per cent of the members of the House present and of them, two-third support is mandatory.


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