New Delhi, Mar 12: The BJP appeared all set to raise a storm in the Rajya Sabha on the Lokpal Bill with Leader of Opposition demanding suspension of Question Hour tomorrow so that the House resumes functioning by taking up the anti-graft legislation, stalled in the last session.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley will give a notice tomorrow for suspension of Question Hour as the party is in no mood to give up the contentious Lokpal issue which had led to adjournment of the Upper House on the night of December 29 without passing the Bill.
“The reason government gave then is that it wants more time to go through those amendments moved by the members. By now, it has had enough time to study them,” Jaitley said today, adding that his party will demand that the Lokpal Bill debate be the first business that the Upper House takes up in the Budget session.
The BJP leader insisted that the opposition wants an “adequate reply” from the government on this issue in Parliament.
“Nothing on the Lokpal debate was inconclusive,” he said and maintained that logically the Bill, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, should be passed in the Rajya Sabha.
Minister of State in PMO V Narayansamy had begun his reply to the debate when the House was adjourned by Chairman Hamid Ansari on the grounds that there was no order in the House.
Deputy leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia indicated that smooth conduct of the House tomorrow and in the subsequent days may not be possible if the government does not relent to this demand.
Meanwhile, the government today indicated that it plans to take up the Lokpal Bill in the second part of the Budget Session beginning April 24, 2012.
This became clear with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal saying that the priority for the government was to get the Vote on Account passed by March 30, 2012 and bills like the Lokpal Bill will be taken up in the second part.
Discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President for her address to Parliament is on the agenda for Tuesday.
While the Railway Budget is scheduled for March 14, 2012, the Economic Survey will be tabled in Parliament the next day and the General Budget will be presented on March 16, 2012.
In his customary eve-of-the-session media interaction, Bansal said government has “very little time” for legislative business in the first part of the session in spite of the fact that 39 bills are listed for consideration and passing, including the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, which has been approved by the Lok Sabha.
The Minister said that nearly 200 amendments to the Bill moved in the Upper House in the previous session had lapsed after it was prorogued and members have started giving amendments afresh.
“One member has moved some amendments. I believe some others may also do so. Even the government will have to move amendments afresh. These will have to be examined before taking them up for discussion,” Bansal said.