Lokpal: Whom to blame?

Did Government actually want voting to take place? Government knew bill would not be passed if put to vote but at the same time, it didn't want to be termed as a loser. Government was not opposed to bill, why should it be! The biggest problem it faced was it could not convince its own Members of Parliament. Trinamool Congress was firm on opposing the bill in Rajya Sabha as it was not in favour of having Lokayuktas in states. Sixteen of its MPs were missing in Lok Sabha on Tuesday when they were needed the most. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who never gets quite, lost his tongue in Rajya Sabha on Thursday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was seen sitting like an idol with no expressions on face. They were the observers waiting for time to pass and that’s what happened. No voting could take place. House was adjourned sine die. It was a win-win situation for all. BJP didn’t want such a bill to be passed. Government saved itself from shameful defeat. Team Anna was also happy as it was always opposed to Government version of bill. After the bill was passed in Lok Sabha, started the blame game, with Congress charging BJP of double standards and Sonia coming out with statement in her Italian accent, ”BJP ka asli chehra deka” (We saw real face of BJP). This was well responded by Sushma Swaraj in her statement that it was not responsibility of BJP to fulfill Rahul Gandhi’s and Arun Jaitley saying in Rajya Sabha that Government had choreographed the proceedings such that there is no time left for voting. Government is not just accountable to people of India. India in May 2011 ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption. India ranks 95 among 183 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which is only a reflection of India’s poor performance on corruption. Lokpal Bill was first introduced in 1968 in Lok Sabha and passed in 1969 but died due to dissolution of House. Legislation was revived in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998 and 2001 but it could never survive. Manmohan Singh, in 2004, assured that his UPA Government would enact the bill but that situation has not come yet even after 7 years. Who knows the future of Lokpal! Poor Lokpal!

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