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Congress member questions non-appointment of Lokpal

IANS | New Delhi |

Congress member KC Venugopal on Wednesday slammed the central government over non-appointment of the Lokpal, and questioned the government's intent of fighting corruption.

The appointment of the Lokpal has been pending as there is no Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and the bill has to be amended for making a different provision.

The government, however, said that an amendment in the Lokpal Bill was pending with a Parliamentary Committee and the law can be changed only after the committee approves it.

Raising the issue soon after question hour, Venugopal said: "Appointment of the Lokpal is pending for two and half years. The government came into power only because of tall promise of fighting corruption. On one hand government is talking about corruption, on other hand trying to weaken the bodies."

"Appointment of the Lokpal is not possible in current scenario, who is responsible? Government is bulldozing laws whenever possible but not giving importance to this law… Because an amendment is not being passed, Lokpal can't be appointed," the member said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, however, pointed out that the bill was pending with a Parliamentary Committee.

"There is an amendment pending before the Standing Committee. Let report of Standing Committee come expeditiously, we will follow it," Jaitley said.

Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu objected to the use of the term "bulldozing".

"Parliament can only pass bills if there is a majority. Some members are using the word 'bulldozing'. This is wrong," he said.

Meanwhile, another Congress member, Suresh Kodikunnil, slammed the government over non-appointment of members to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Minorities Commissions.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said there have always been gaps raging between three to ten months, in the appointment of successive commissions.

"We respect all commissions and have taken steps to strengthen them. There has been a gap of three to ten month earlier as well," he said.

Gehlot also said that the government will soon form a Commission for the Backward classes.