Lokpal Bill: BJP will press for amendments

New Delhi: With Lok Sabha taking up the Lokpal Bill for debate, BJP today said it will press for amendments and support parties seeking changes in the proposed legislation if there is common ground.

Terming the Lokpal Bill introduced in Lok Sabha on December 22 as “a weak bill”, BJP`s deputy leader in Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia said the party supports “a strong Lokpal Bill” and for an improved version of it, the party has moved certain amendments.

“While initiating the debate, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj will elaborately discuss the amendments and then during the day, before conclusion of the debate, we will take a final call. If we find that amendments moved by other parties or members are in common with those moved by BJP, we will support them,” Ahluwalia told reporters after the BJP parliamentary party meeting.

The meeting chaired by BJP parliamentary party Chairman L K Advani was also attended by Sushma Swaraj and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.  Observing that the present bill will be “ultimately unable to combat corruption”, Ahluwalia said, “BJP is in favour of a strong and improved bill.”

Meanwhile, senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu said the bill in the present form is “not acceptable” and the party will formulate its stand “depending on the situation.” He was non committal about the party`s support to the Government in Rajya Sabha, if Lok Sabha clears the bill.

“It depends how the Government responds to the suggestions,” Naidu said when asked whether the party would help Government pass the bill in Rajya Sabha as it did not have majority in the Upper House. “If the Government responds positively, we will act accordingly. As of now, it is one of the weakest bills,” he said.