Cong Core Group discusses stalling of Parliament
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 22:21
New Delhi: Concerned over disruptions by the opposition in Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday held a strategy meeting with his senior colleagues in an apparent move to get the monsoon session back on track.

Meeting in the absence of party chief Sonia Gandhi, the Congress Core Group held consultations at a time when Parliament has been stalled over various issues raised by the Opposition, including the CAG report on alleged irregularities in conduct of the Commonwealth Games.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K Antony and Political Secretary to the Congress president Ahmed Patel were among those present at the meeting.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal was also present at the meeting so also was his deputy Rajiv Shukla.

A section in the government as also Congress is wary of the moves of the Opposition, especially BJP, to stall Parliament repeatedly. Since the monsoon session started on August one, half of the time of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha has been lost due to disruptions over one issue or another.

With most of the official business pending, including passage of at least 30 bills, government's new strategy could be to ensure getting through as many legislations as possible even if the opposition fails to cooperate fully.

Bansal wanted the Opposition to take a leaf out of British Parliament. "Look at Westminster, how they plan to dispassionately discuss situation when 500 people have been arrested in the wake of rioting in some parts of Britain," Bansal said.

Shukla accused the Opposition of not being sensitive to the problems of the people at a time when there are problems in the global economy.

"If the bills related to economic reforms are not cleared, country's economy may go down. This will have an adverse impact on the people," he said.

Government sources said a section of the Opposition was not happy with BJP's attempts to disrupt Parliament at the drop of a hat.

Official sources said Chidambaram was ready to respond to BJP in Parliament on the issue of baton charge against Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha activists in the capital yesterday but the main Opposition did not allow Parliament to run.

Government is expected to have talks with the presiding officers as also the Opposition to get Parliament going, sources said.

"The Opposition is not letting Parliament run and on the most frivolous ground. Parliament must run and transact the business," Bansal said.

"At present, we only want, we only appeal to the opposition again please come to the House now. Don't stall the House. Don't make it a regular practice. We had enough of it. If there is a reason, please tell us, we will address those reasons," he said.

Asked whether government is planning to cut short the Parliament session, Bansal said "there is no question of shortening of session at the moment".


First Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 22:21

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