NEW DELHI, Dec 29 � Amid Government�s last ditch efforts to enlist support for Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today met leaders of parties like BSP and RJD to persuade them to give up their opposition, reports PTI.
Mukherjee, along with Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, held meetings with BSP leader Satish C Mishra and RJD chief Lalu Prasad as the debate was underway in the Rajya Sabha.
BSP has 18 members and RJD four in the 243-member House.
Sources said Mishra and Prasad were asked about the stand of their parties on the Lokpal Bill and how they would vote.
Mishra told Mukherjee that BSP was opposed to Lokayukta provision as it goes against the sprit of federalism.
The Government side told him that it would get back, the sources said.
The BSP remained firm on its opposition to the clauses on Lokayukta although it has not moved any amendment.
There were indications that BSP members would not walk out.
Meanwhile, in indications of further problems for the Government, two Congress members P Kannan and Vijay Darda were not present. Congress has 71 members, altogether.
Certain regional parties, including some key UPA constituents, today joined hands in opposing the provisions in the Lokpal Bill for setting up of Lokayuktas in states, saying the move would undermine the autonomy of states.
Trinamool Congress and to some extent DMK joined BJP and some other parties like BSP, AIADMK, JD-U, BJD and the Left in opposing the provisions in Chapter III of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill which deals with states ombudsman.
Trinamool Congress strongly opposed the Bill, asserting that it seeks to encroach upon the authority of states and weaken the country�s federal structure. It has six members in the Upper House where the UPA does not have a majority.
Party member Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said, �party leader (Mamata Banerjee) has directed us to oppose the bill to the extent� it seeks to encroach on autonomy of the states and �threatens� the federal structure of the country.
DMK, another important ally of the Government, too cautioned the UPA not to attempt a legislation which undermines states.