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Sunday, July 3, 2011
LOK PAL BILL: Left will participate, but will seek government draft of Lokpal Bill!
K. BALCHAND / The Hindu / NEW DELHI, July 2, 2011.
CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat addresses a press conference on the Lokpal issue in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: PTI.
The Left parties have decided to attend Sunday's all-party meeting convened by the United Progressive Alliance government on the Lokpal Bill with the sole purpose of demanding circulation of the government's draft for a proper political dialogue on the issue.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat, while enunciating the Left's stand on the Lokpal Bill, made it clear that the parties would go to the meeting to tell the government that it had not presented its draft and only after receiving one would they be prepared to give their opinion and discuss the issue with the government.
“Why should we waste our time discussing a draft that did not belong to the government? The draft of the five Union Ministers on the Lokpal drafting panel is not that of the government,” Mr. Karat told journalists here.
He said the CPI(M) and the other Left parties had evolved their views on each matter relating to the Lokpal Bill but would make the details public only after the government came out with its draft.
Mr. Karat warned the government against bypassing political parties and attempting to get the Bill passed in Parliament. “It is not going to happen,” he maintained.
Favouring inclusion of the Prime Minister within the ambit of the Lokpal, the CPI(M) general secretary attacked the UPA government and the Congress, demanding an explanation for reversing their stand.