NEW DELHI, Dec 30 (IANS): The government Friday put up a brave face after it failed to get the Lokpal bill past the Rajya sabha, saying it would be brought in the budget session of parliament in March 2012.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal, Law Minister Salman Khurshid and Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy told reporters that the bill will come in the next session and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of "double speak."
"The Lokpal Bill is still alive and it will be taken up in the budget session of parliament," Bansal said at the customary post-session press conference here.
"The bill will come up in the next session," Khurshid told reporters and blamed the opposition for trying to politicise the issue.
"They are looking for ammunition, they are not looking for something good for the country," he said.
"They were so arrogant, believing that they had the majority and would do whatever they wanted. They should have acted more responsibly and wisely. If a game is played, it's played on both sides... why were they playing a game," Khurshid asked.
Narayanasamy too blamed the opposition and accused the BJP of "double speak".
"Definitely we will bring it in March in the Budget session...We have to study the 187 amendments brought by opposition parties as most are overlapping. Some amendments relate to only a part of a clause and not the entire clause, some demand removing the entire part of the bill," he added.
The Rajya Sabha failed to pass the Lokpal bill Thursday with the house being adjourned sine dine amid chaos.
Referring to the amendments moved by key United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partner Trinamool Congress, Narayanasamy said its reservations only related to the appointment of Lokayuktas in the states and "they have no grievances against the Lokpal."
"They voted with us in the Lok Sabha though they had some reservations about the constitutional amendment...we are talking to them...there is still some time and we will bring them around," he said.
Bansal also accused BJP of playing politics, saying the party's amendments to the Lokpal bill were meant to ensure that it is not passed.
He said he was pained to hear Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley saying that the debate was choreographed by the government with the idea of avoiding a vote on the bill.
"I in fact level this charge on them. The BJP was participating in the discussion and they did not at any time say, let's end the debate and go for clause by clause consideration of the bill. They kept fielding their own members for debate till the last," Bansal said.
"BJP did this to play politics and they changed their stand as they said something in Lok Sabha and something else in the Rajya Sabha," he said.
Defending the government, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh tweeted: "187 Amendments given till 6 pm on the day of debate and those too contradictory to each other. Extension of the House not within powers of RS (Rajya Sabha)."
The BJP has demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh resign for running away from voting in the Rajya Sabha.