Parties should have been consulted before forming Lokpal panel

New Delhi: Welcoming the Centre`s decision to call an all-party meeting to discuss the Lokpal issue, Janata Dal (United) on Monday said the government should have consulted parties even before setting up a joint committee to draft the Bill.

"Though it`s late, but a right decision. We will attend the all-party meet," JD(U) President and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav told PTI-Bhasha in an interview.

At the same time, he criticised the government for not consulting the Opposition before setting up a joint-committee to draft the Lokpal Bill. "We will raise this issue in Parliament," he said.

Yadav said that though media has given "undue" coverage to the campaigns by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev, it was the Opposition whose strong stand against corruption resulted in imprisonment of several people, including bureaucrats and corporate honchos and ministers.

Dismissing the allegations that there is no unity among the opposition parties, the NDA convenor said, "The opposition has played its role very well on important issues like corruption and national security."

He claimed that before the anti-corruption campaigns by Hazare and Ramdev started, it was efforts of the opposition which saw a number of people, including bureaucrats and corporate honchos being sent to jail in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.

On the controversry surrounding Ramdev`s fast against black money and the subsequent events, Yadav said the Opposition would seek an answer from the government regarding its stand-off with the yoga guru.

"We will ask government about it in Parliament. It has to tell us about that love hate episode," he said.