Despite only ten days left for the Budget session to conclude,the fate of Lokpal Bill still appears to be hanging in balance.
A meeting of Congress Core Group chaired by party President Sonia Gandhi with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by her side on Friday evening reviewed the situation but no final decision has been taken on whether to bring the bill in Parliament in this session or not.
A consensus is yet to emerge on the issue despite the government holding talks with Oppostion parties on three to four sticky issues.
Earlier,there was speculation about extending the tenure of the Budget session beyond May 22 to ensure the passage of pending bills including the one on Lokpal. However,government sources said there is no such possibility.
Sources said nothing can still be said finally on the fate of Lokpal Bill as the decision whether to bring the legislation before the Rajya Sabha in the current session will depend on many factors.
A senior Congress leader speaking separately on the issue said that the possibility of bringing the Lokpal Bill before the Cabinet during this session appears remote as some issues are still to be thrashed out.
There is also a dilemma on whether dropping the controversial clause about appointment of Lokayuktas in the state from the Lokpal Bill could create further troubles as the appointment of Lokayuktas in the states was one of the key points in the unanimous resolution passed by Parliament in the extended Winter session at the height of Anna Hazare’s agitation in December last year.
Law Minister Salman Khurshid met CPI leader D Raja on Friday in this connection. Union Ministers Kapil Sibal,Khurshid,Pawan Kumar Bansal and V Narayansamy yesterday met Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley in Parliament House to discuss the Lokpal Bill.
BJP is adamant on two main issues. One,the process of appointment and removal of the Lokpal be made more democratic and two,the CBI be kept out of government control.