New Delhi, Dec 28: Government suffered a major embarrassment in the Lok Sabha late Tuesday night when it defeated the Bill giving Lokpal a constitutional status.
The Bill, which was an idea of Rahul Gandhi to give constitutional status to Lokpal, failed to muster the required two-third majority of those present and voting in all the three clauses.
The House witnessed high drama as voting on the three clauses showed that the ruling side had failed to get the required number of 273 in favour, prompting Speaker Meira Kumar to drop the clause from the bill.
An angry Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee termed the development as “a sad day for democracy”, blamed the Opposition especially BJP for the fiasco and warned them that “people will teach you a lesson”.
On the Clause two, 247 voted in favour and 178 against, while in Clause three 251 were in favour and 179 against.
Clause one received 250 and 180 against.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee appeared to be worried as voting slips were counted.
Some BJP members were heard alleging that the lobbies have been opened, but Speaker Meira Kumar repeatedly said that “lobbies are closed and I have not ordered them to be opened. It is not good to make such charges. Don't doubt, have faith.”
At one point, Speaker said it was “wrong to cast aspersions on the Chair. Please don't do it”.
After the Constitution Amendment Bill was defeated, an angry Mukherjee hit out at the Opposition.
“The aim of the Bill was to strengthen the institution of Lokpal and Lokayuktas by giving Constitutional status. But this House, in its wisdom, particularly the Opposition, mainly BJP, they decided that it is not right to give Constitutional status to Lokpal. The bill has been defeated,” he said.
“It will be known to everybody that we do not have the requisite numbers. Lok Sabha did not give Constitutional status to Lokpal and Lokayuktas.. We do not have two-third majority... The Opposition combined and defeated,” the Leader of the House said.
“It is a sad day for democracy, it is a sad for the institution,” he said and told the Opposition, “People will teach you a lesson.”