New Delhi, 21 December 2011. With Team Anna getting ready with its agitation against the proposed Lokpal Bill, the atmosphere of confrontation between the team and the government is once again building up as it had when Anna Hazare sat on his fast on the Ramlila maidan even as Parliament debated the Sense of the House statement that helped end his fast.
This time though, with the Bill in place, along with two others which are part of its package to fight corruption, the government is not likely to be as defensive as it was then. After the Prime Minister cleared the note before the Cabinet approved the Bill on Tuesday, in a manner of speaking it will be a repeat of the August scenario: Anna Hazare is set to begin his new agitation on December 27 in Mumbai on the very day the Lok Sabha will be discussing the Bill before the crucial vote on it.
The Business Advisory Committee attached to the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday gave its stamp of approval to the extension of the winter session to December 29 (after a short break) while the Lok Sabha BAC had taken a similar decision on Tuesday itself. This ended the uncertainty over the extension of the session for only a day to December 23.
Twists and turns
After many a twist and turn — it was first conveyed to the BJP that the Bill will be taken up for consideration on December 22 in the Lok Sabha and the next day in the Rajya Sabha, and the BJP agreed; then on Wednesday morning the government said it would be able to circulate the Bill only by Wednesday night and it could not be taken up for consideration the following day as a minimum time of 24 hours had to be given to MPs to read it; and finally it was decided to introduce the Bill on Thursday, and discuss it before the voting only on December 27.