The Lokapl bill for a corruption watchdog was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday amidst considerable drama but the main event proved a damp squib, as the house was adjourned sine die without the bill even being put to a vote.
The cabinet is almost certain to recommend to the President today that the winter session of Parliament be prorogued, which means the bill will not become law for some time to come. The government has promised to revive it during the budget session, which begins in late February.
With various parties, including United Progressive Alliance constituent Trinamool Congress, moving as many as 187 amendments to the bill, parliamentary affairs minister P K Bansal asked the chair for time to consider the amendments moved by the MPs.
It seems fairly clear that the government avoided putting the bill to vote as it knew that it could not muster the numbers for its passage; backdoor negotiations with allies and the opposition having failed.
The opposition promptly accused the government of running away from a vote because it was in a minority.