Cong core group meets ahead of presenting Lokpal

Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi held consultations in the backdrop of plans by the government to bring the Lokpal Bill in Parliament.

New Delhi: Congress top brass including Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi today
held consultations in the backdrop of plans by the government
to bring the Lokpal Bill in Parliament next week and Team
Anna`s opposition to certain provisions.

A meeting of the Congress core group was held close on the
heels of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Lokpal Bill
presenting its report to Parliament on Friday.

Among those who were present at the Congress Core group
were Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister
P Chidambaram, Defence Minister AK Antony and Ahmed Patel,
the political secretary to Congress president.

This is also the first meeting of the Congress core group
after the fiasco over FDI in retail issue.

Ahead of Anna Hazare`s dharna here on Sunday, Government
today said Team Anna should await the passage of the Lokpal
Bill before going ahead with any agitation on the issue.

"They should all wait for a decision in Parliament. People
can give their views and Parliament takes the decision,"
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told

In reply to a question on Hazare`s proposed day-long
agitation at Jantar Mantar on Sunday and Team Anna`s attack on
the Standing Committee`s report on Lokpal Bill, Bansal said,
"It amuses and bemuses me that discussions will be held in
Jantar Mantar."

He said issues, if any, needed to be resolved in an
atmosphere of peace and amity and not by vitiating it. "It is
the responsibility of Parliament to pass laws. That right
flows from the Constitution and in that respect Parliament is
supreme," he said.

He also wanted Team Anna to understand that law-making
is a dynamic process.

The talk in government circles is that the Bill could
come up for discussion at a meeting of the Union Cabinet
likely on December 14 and it would be brought for
consideration on December 19.


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