No early elections: Chidambaram
Ruling out early general elections, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said the government will complete its agenda for 2013 and then go to polls.
New Delhi: Ruling out early general elections, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said the government will complete its agenda for 2013 and then go to polls.
"There will be no early elections. Elections will take place on time in May, 2014," Chidambaram said at an hour-long press conference.
He was asked to comment on reports of some ministers being drafted for party work by Congress.
"Why should the government expect an early election? All that I said in the last 50 minutes, does that point towards early elections? It points to completing our agenda for 2013-14 and then going for elections in the month of May," Chidambaram said.
On delay in bringing insurance and pension reforms, the minister said he was in touch with the Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha with whom he would meet again in the run up to the parliament session.
"They have told me they are holding consultations within their party. Once the principal opposition party indicates its mind, we will consult other political parties also," he said.
Chidambaram said he sincerely hoped that the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill can be passed by Parliament as there was difference on only one clause.
The Insurance Bill seeks to raise the FDI cap in private insurance companies to 49 per cent from 26 per cent.
"Once the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill is passed, everybody will broadly agree that the Pension Bill will follow because that is only a reflection of what is mentioned in the Insurance Bill," he said.
"You should ask them are they planning to convert themselves into political parties. I don`t know," Chidambaram quipped when asked whether industry chambers were being used for political wars.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had addressed a CII meeting this week and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to speak at a FICCI event on Monday.