Congress core committee meets ahead of UPA meeting

The Congress core group met at the parliament house office of PM Manmohan Singh to discuss the Lokpal bill and other issues, party sources said.

New Delhi: The Congress top brass, including
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi,
on Tuesday deliberated on the strategy on the Lokpal issue ahead of
the meeting of the UPA leaders here.
The meeting was held on a day Singh is holding
consultations with UPA allies on the Lokpal issue, the first
such exercise after the fiasco over FDI in retail.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P
Chidambaram, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Congress
president`s political secretary Ahamed Patel were present at
the Congress core group meeting in which the Lokpal issue was
discussed, sources said.

Singh`s meeting with the UPA leaders is expected to
project a united face of the ruling alliance on the issue of
Lokpal at a time when it was under attack from opposition
parties and Anna Hazare for coming out with a "weak" bill.

The consultations will be held a day ahead of an
all-party meeting convened by the Prime Minister on the
ticklish issue.

Last week, the government had to put the decision on
allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail on hold
following key allies Trinamool Congress and DMK expressing
opposition to it and demanding its rollback.
The Lokpal bill is expected to come up for consideration
in the Lok Sabha on December 20, two days ahead of the
conclusion of the current session of Parliament.


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