According to rules, the session can continue merely till midnight and any extension would involve a long procedure concerning a meeting of House’s Business Advisory Committee, a cabinet meeting and after all the President’s approval.
Even with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee meeting leaders of UPA constituent Trinamool Congress and of parties like BSP and RJD, the government appeared to have failed to acquire support.
Mukherjee with parliamentary affairs minister PK Bansal and HRD minister Kapil Sibal, held meetings with BSP leader Satish C Mishra and RJD chief Lalu Prasad as the debate was started in the Rajya Sabha.
According to the sources, Mishra and Prasad were asked regarding the stand of their parties on the lokpal bill and how they would vote. Mishra told to Mukherjee that BSP was conflicting to lokayukta prerequisite as it goes against the spirit of federalism.
In the interim, in indications of auxiliary problems for the government, two Congress members P Kannan and Vijay Darda were not present. Congress has 71 members, altogether.
Dead conflicting to the stipulation on Lokayuktas in states, and fearing loss of their federal sovereignty under the provisions of the bill, Trinamool has moved about 37 amendments for inclusive separation of the lokayuktas from the lokpal bill.
Informed sources said that the Trinamool may vote against the bill if its amendments are cancelled on the floor of the house.
Whereas Trinamool Congress is a constituent of the UPA, the Samajwadi Party and the RJD support the government from outside.
The Congress leader said that “On process of the CBI and investigation, let’s look at it seriously, not with the intent to ridicule. The CBI is 70-year-old organisation. Should birth of a lokpal mean automatic destruction of every other institution? A 10-year-old CVC, a 70-year-old CBI?”
Singhvi said that the BJP wanted to create a behemoth of unbelievable proportions in comparison to which the Prime Minister’s Office would look like a pygmy.