After almost 12 hours of spirited debate, the Lok Sabha finally passed the most contentious Bill of the Year -the Lokpal and Lokyuktas Bill, 2011 late on Tuesday.
The Government however has failed to pass the constitutional Amendment Bill which would have given Constitutional status to the Lokpal due to lack of majority.
Voting on the three clauses showed that the ruling side had failed to get the required number of 272 in favour, prompting Speaker Meira Kumar to drop the clauses from the bill.
Moreover, passed in the Lok Sabha, there is now a question mark over the Lokpal Bill itself as it moves to the Rajya Sabha tomorrow where the UPA has less than 100 members in the 245-member House.
The Bill which envisages creating anti-graft institution at the Central as well as the State levels passed through a voice vote,after the Government agreed to ten amendments. A total of 46 Lok Sabha members from parties supporting the UPA from outside —Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) — staged a walkout over the Lokpal Bill and the Government managers did not bother to get them back for the discussion on the Constitutional Amendment Bill.
SP Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav before leaving said, “We had demanded a strong lokpal. It is not strong.
It is sarkari lokpal. It was brought in a hurry and under Anna Hazare’s pressure.”
BSP leader Dara Singh Chauhan said, the party MPs walked out in protest against Government’s refusal to accept their demand of bringing CBI under lokpal.
Earlier, while intervening, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underlined that the Bill lived upto the promise MPs “collectively made to the people of the country” with a ‘sense of house’ resolution in August.but the Bill was rejected a weak and inadequate and several parties wanted it to be withdrawn.
BJP leader Yashwant Sinha called the Government “morally bankrupt” which has brought a “brokepal bill”.”If the Government wants to fight corruption strongly, they need to send the bill to the standing committee again”, Sinha said.
Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj earlier had dismissed the Bill saying it as a “patently unconstitutional” because of the way the BIll has incuded the Prime Minister in its purview.