Lokpal Bill to pass in winter session: Government

New Delhi, Nov 18: Lokpal Bill will be passed in the winter session of the Parliament, said V Narayanswamy, Minister of State (MOS) in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Friday.

"Lokpal Bill will be passed in the Winter Session itself," said Narayanswamy.

Earlier on Friday, in Allahabad, social activist Kiran Bedi said if Lokpal Bill is not passed in the winter session of the Parliament, there will be a nationwide "Ramlila Maidan-like protests".

"We have nothing against the Congress as such. But we firmly believe that the onus for getting a legislation passed lay on the party in power," Bedi told reporters on the sidelines of a citizens' workshop on fighting corruption.

"If Lokpal Bill is not passed in the winter session of the Parliament, we will start Ramlila Maidan- like protests in more than 300 cities across the country," she said.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi have promised to the nation that the Lokpal Bill will be passed in the upcoming Parliament session. We are watching the situation carefully and, for now, hoping that they would keep their word," she said.

"If the bill is not introduced in the Parliament or it is brought without being given much teeth, the country would witness agitations on a much larger scale," Bedi said.

Gandhian social activist Anna Hazare has already threatened a fast in a pre-warning to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the Jan Lokpal Bill.

The veteran social activist earlier wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reminding him of his assurance to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill in winter session of Parliament.

Anna reminded the PM that he broke his fast at Ramlila ground only after the prime minister gave assurance to pass the bill in the winter session.

Anna has threatened to tour the states where assembly elections are due next year to campaign against corruption.

The winter session of the Indian Parliament is from November 22 - December 21.

In August, Hazare observed a 12- day fast for Jan Lokpal Bill at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi.

--IBNS (Posted on 18-11-2011)

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