New Delhi: The Congress-led UPA Government
today reached out to the Opposition ahead of crucial financial
business including the general and the railway budgets in
Leader of the Lok Sabha and Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee held a 45-minute meeting with top BJP leaders to
seek their support for smooth functioning of the Session,
which will break for recess on March 30.
The meeting was attended by senior BJP leader L K Advani
and Leaders of Opposition in both the Houses Sushma Swaraj and
Arun Jaitley, Yashwant Sinha, besides Parliamentary Affairs
Minister Pawan Bansal.
The government, which is scrambling for numbers in the
Rajya Sabha, is learnt to have requested the BJP leaders to
support it in the passage of important legislations and
The controversial Lokpal Bill, pending in the Rajya Sabha,
is expected to create a lot of ruckus, as in the Winter
Session. Arun Jaitley today said the BJP would demand that the
Bill be taken up first.
Mukherjee and Bansal told BJP leaders that due to
the rail and general budgets, government would not be in a
position to bring other important legislations during the
pre-recess period of the Session.
The government sought the main opposition party`s support
in smooth passage of the The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2011, which has a deadline of
March 31 after India signed an international treaty.
Another such Bill which has international ramifications is
The Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2011,
which is also required to be passed soon in view of India
being a signatory to international treaties.