Rahul promises a strong Lokpal

New Delhi, Dec 14 : Stung by poll debacle in Delhi and other parts of India, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said his government is committed to passing a strong anti-corruption Lokpal Bill at the earliest, urging the parties to rise about differences for greater good.

While the Bill was stalled in Lok Sabha by the Samajwadi Party on Friday and social activist Anna Hazare is on a fast in his native village in Maharashtra to demand a strong anti-corruption law in the form of Lokpal, Rahul Gandhi along with party stalwarts like P Chidambaram addressed the media and assured passage of the bill at the earliest.

"Our job is to give this country a powerful Lokpal Bill. What we need, we are 99 percent there. What we need is one percent movement from political parties in this country.
If we work together we can finish and deliver the Lokpal," he told reporters at the Congress headquarters here.

"We should put aside small little differences we have and get together," said Gandhi.

He said all parties are for Lokpal Bill except that there are differences of opinion and that should be overcome to pass the bill.

Urging the Opposition BJP and others to help pass the bill, he said it has nothing to do with the poll reverses and the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi.

Speaking with Gandhi and explaining the law regarding the appointment of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief out of political influence, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said "there is already a law to appoint the CBI chief."

"The Lokpal Bill is how the CBI and Lokpal work together. The appointment of the CBI chief is governed by another law," he said.

Rahul Gandhi said his government had passed the RTI Act (Right to Information) earlier and it was a bigger step in fighting corruption.

The bill will be taken up for passage in Parliament on Monday but the Samajwadi Party (SP) of Mulayam Singh Yadav has already threatened to support a no-confidence motion on the Telangana issue by some Congress Andhra Pradesh lawmakers, apparently in case the Congresses pressed them too hard with the Lokpal Bill, which in its present form is not accepted by SP.

SP supports the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government from outside.

--IBNS (Posted on 14-12-2013)

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