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India's parliament passes tough anti-graft bill

Published on Dec 17, 2013 10:59 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's upper house of parliament on Tuesday passed a long-delayed bill to combat graft, with both main parties prompted to back it after a stunning showing by a new anti-corruption party in recent polls.

The ruling Congress and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) voted in favour of the tough bill in the upper house, in a rare show of unity in the normally disruptive and chaotic parliament.

"Today is a historic day. I thank all the parties for ensuring the smooth passage of the bill," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters outside the parliament in New Delhi.

The so-called Lokpal Bill will head to the lower house on Wednesday for a vote on amendments added to the legislation, before being sent to the president for approval.

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