Indian govt says anti-corruption bill imminent


Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare gestures during a rally at Ram Lila grounds in New Delhi on August 23, 2011. Indian activist Hazare said he was ready 'to die' for India as the government called an all-party meeting to try to break its damaging standoff with the anti-corruption campaigner. Hazare's hunger strike has captured the public imagination in India, triggering huge protests and boxing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's graft-tainted government into a tight political corner.



India's government is confident it will table a new anti-corruption bill before the end of the winter session of parliament, the BBC reports, citing a senior minister.

Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the bill could be tabled by Tuesday.

Leaders of 35 parties who joined Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the Lokpal bill earlier this week failed to reach a consensus on its contents.

Media reports suggest that a special session of parliament could be convened to allow more time to bring about agreement on the Lokpal bill. The winter session is scheduled to end on 22 December.

The move would mark a measure of progress against the gridlock that has practically prevented the legislature from functioning for the past two weeks.  It would also forestall a threatened protest from anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and his followers. 

Hazare has threatened to begin another indefinite hunger strike if an anti-corruption bill is not passed this term.  Of perhaps greater concern for the government, he has also laid out some stiff, and specific, requirements as to the shape the bill should take.