It was a repeat of the scenes in Rajya Sabha in 1989 when the Opposition combined to defeat the statute amendment bill to confer Constitutional status to Panchayat Raj institutions. Soon after the defeat, Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister dissolved Lok Sabha and went to polls which his party lost
New Delhi: In a strange coincidence, Rahul Gandhi's idea of conferring Constitutional status on Lokpal failed in the Lok Sabha much like his father Rajiv Gandhi's Panchayati Raj Bill 22 years ago, reports PTI.
A BJP MP sought to strike an ominous note of coincidence claiming that government of the day was not lucky whenever the Lokpal Bill was taken up and on occasions, the Lok Sabha was also dissolved.
The Constitution (116th Amendment) Bill to confer Constitutional status on Lokpal was defeated in the Lok Sabha late last night by a determined Opposition, helped by the absence of parties supporting the government from outside like SP, BSP and RJD.
It was a repeat of the scenes in Rajya Sabha in 1989 when the Opposition combined to defeat the statute amendment bill to confer Constitutional status to Panchayat Raj institutions.
Soon after the Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister dissolved Lok Sabha and went to polls which his party lost. But a bill to confer Constitutional status to Panchayati Raj instititutions was passed after the Congress returned to power in 1991.
About the other coincidence, BJP Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha SS Ahluwalia claims that when Parliament had taken up the Lokpal Bill for considerations, there were occasions when the Lok Sabha got dissolved.
He said this has been the case since 1968. That year, The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill was introduced on May nine. It was referred to the Select Committee of Parliament.
It was passed in the Lok Sabha as "The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 1969" on 20 August 1969. However, before this Bill could be passed by the Rajya Sabha, the Fourth Lok Sabha was dissolved and consequently this Bill lapsed.
Then on 11 August 1971 another Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill was introduced. It was neither referred to any Committee, nor passed by any House. It lapsed consequent upon the dissolution of the Fifth Lok Sabha.
Later, the Lokpal bill was brought on 28 July 1977. It was referred to a Joint Select Committee of both the Houses of Parliament. Before the recommendations of the Joint Select Committee could be considered, the Sixth Lok Sabha was dissolved and consequently this Bill also lapsed.
The Lokpal Bill, 1985 was introduced on 28th August that year and referred to a Joint Select Committee of Parliament. However, the Bill was withdrawn by the then Government because of its inadequacy to cover different types of situations.
While withdrawing it, the Government of the day said it would later come forward with a comprehensive legislation to deal with redress of public grievances.
The Lokpal Bill came again in 1989 as it was introduced on 29th December. However, the Bill lapsed consequent upon the dissolution of the Ninth Lok Sabha on 13 March 1991.
The United Front government introduced yet another bill on the issue on 13 September 1996. It was referred to the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs for examination and report. The Standing Committee presented its report to Parliament on 9 May 1997 making wide ranging amendments to the various provisions of the Bill.
Before the Government could finalise its stand on the various recommendations of the Standing Committee, the Eleventh Lok Sabha was dissolved.
The last such measure was brought on 14 August 2001 by the BJP-led NDA Government. It was referred to the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs for examination and report but the Government bowed out of office in May 2004.
The 74-year-old activist made the surprise announcement midway through his three-day fast at MMRDA grounds which reported poor attendance of people for the second continuous day
Mumbai: Smarting under poor response and bad health, Anna Hazare on Wednesday called off his fast a day ahead of schedule and repeated his threat to campaign against Congress in the five poll-bound states for not brining a strong Lokpal, reports PTI.
The 74-year-old activist made the surprise announcement midway through his three-day fast at MMRDA grounds which reported poor attendance of people for the second continous day, in stark contrast the mass swelling in Delhi earlier this year during his three fasts.
Mr Hazare did not make any reference to the earlier plans of coming to Delhi for a dharna of the residence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and about the jail bharo agitation (filling up of jails) after that.
"...Whatever we are seeing today in Parliament is tragic. So I have decided to call off the fast today. There is only one way now. We will make a programme in the five states and go and awaken people there. I will tell them don't vote for traitors," he told a sparsely attended protest meeting in the afternoon.
"Now two years are left for the general elections. In between, I will go to various parts of the country and keep awakening the people till next general elections," he said.
The ending of the fast by Mr Hazare, who was having fever of 100 degree F, came after doctors advised him to call off his protest saying continuing it will lead to kidney failure.
Mr Hazare said he was already fasting four days before the start of the protest strike Tuesday in Mumbai.
Hero Eco plans to invest Rs450 crore in the next five years across businesses
Vijay Munjal-led Hero Eco today said it has acquired UK-based Ultra Motors for an undisclosed amount, aiming to strengthen its presence globally in the electric vehicle segment.
Hero Eco, the newly formed umbrella entity by Vijay Munjal-led companies that include Hero Electric, Hero Exports, Hero Cycles, Mediva, Winn and Hero Ecotech, plans to invest Rs450 crore in the next five years across businesses.
The company is also planning to set up an electric vehicle facility in North America within the next 18 months.
"Hero Eco has acquired Ultra Motors in UK. This will give us an exposure to all the markets where Ultra Motors were present and will strengthen Hero's brand globally," Hero Eco Managing Director Naveen Munjal said. He, however, declined to share the value of this acquisition, citing confidentiality of agreement. "Ultra Motors has 3 plants and is present in 6 countries with sales networks in 22 nations across the globe. This all will come under Hero Eco now," Munjal said.
Earlier, Hero Electric had a tie-up with Ultra Motors for Indian operations, but it fell apart later. The foreign firm had closed shop here about two years ago. Ultra Motors currently has its main manufacturing plant in Taiwan and has two contract assembly plants in China.
"Eventually, the contract manufacturing activities of the two Chinese plants will shift to India. However, it will take at least 6-8 months to proceed in that direction," Hero Eco Chief Executive Officer Sohinder Gill said.
On the new group entity, Hero Eco Chairman Vijay Munjal said the new brand identity will integrate all its different verticals.
"With the new identity, we will be foraying into high-end bicycles in India under a new brand Winn. We will also expand our medical equipment business under Mediva brand in a big way," he added.
The Rs450 crore Hero Eco is aiming for a group turnover of Rs1,500 crore in the next five years, Naveen Munjal said. "To expand our all businesses, we will be investing Rs 450 crore in the next five years. We will be setting up a new electric vehicle plant in North America in the next 18 months," he added.
Besides, the group will also set up a bicycle unit in India within next 18 months, he said. Currently, Hero Eco has all its manufacturing facilities in Ludhiana. While it produces 65,000 units of electric 2-wheelers, 9 lakh bicycles are rolled out every year.