NEW DELHI: The much talked about Lokpal Bill is expected to be brought again for consideration in the Rajya Sabha during the second phase of the Budget session of Parliament. "The bill is on the live register of the Rajya Sabha and it will now be taken up only in the second phase of the Budget session," an official said.
The Budget session begins on March 12 with President Pratibha Patil addressing the joint sitting of members of both the Houses of Parliament and its second part will be held from April 24 to May 22. The Lokpal bill was passed by the Lok Sabha during the winter session but later a political war broke out between the government and the opposition as the bill could not be passed in the Upper House, with both sides accusing each other of carrying out a "well choreographed" chaos to scuttle it.
The Opposition had charged the government with running away from a vote because of lack of majority in the House. The government had then stated that the bill was "alive" and would be taken up in the Budget session for passage.
In all its charges and counter charges, the government had ensured that it does not in any way annoy its ally Trinamool Congress, which had ganged up with the opposition and declared that it would vote against the provisions relating to Lokayuktas. By May this year, the strength of the Congress and its allies is expected to rise slightly in the Upper House after biennial elections in several seats. The UPA does not have a majority in the House. The bill was the culmination of a spirited battle between government and Team Anna which raised the pitch for a strong anti-corruption ombudsman.