TMC defiant on NCTC, skips PM’s dinner

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday hosted a dinner for coalition constituents to keep the flock together.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: With speculations rife for mid-term polls and UPA allies giving a tough time to the Congress, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday hosted a dinner for coalition constituents to keep the flock together.

The dinner, which was originally scheduled for Monday was held at PM’s official residence - 7, Race Course Road today.

The dinner diplomacy comes in the wake of Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee keeping the government on tenterhooks by making common cause with non-UPA parties on a range of issues.

But Trinamool Congress snubbed the government’s efforts again by keeping top parliamentary leaders away from the dinner. Instead, the party made just a token presence at PM’s dinner with Hooghly MP and a backbencher Ratna De Nag, representing the party.

Trinamool, which has 18 MPs in Lok Sabha, is the second largest constituent of UPA.
Earlier in the day, Trinamool MP Kalyan Banerjee tabled an “embarrassing amendment” to President`s address to Parliament seeking deletion of the paragraph on NCTC.

The TMC’s move of tabling amendments to the President`s address or cut motions to Budget could cost the government dearly. Normally such amendments are tabled only by opposition and not by ruling constituents because if they are passed, the government has to go.

Asking Trinamool not to insist on the amendment and withdraw it, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that the party was a part of the ruling coalition and it was not proper for it to resort to such actions.

More than 2,700 amendments to the President`s address to Parliament have been submitted in both Houses in a bid to corner the government on issues like NCTC, federalism and corruption.
Among the parties which have moved the amendments are BJP, BJD, AIADMK, DMK, Left parties, TDP, JD(U), SAD and Shiv Sena on the Address related to issues ranging from NCTC, alleged assault on federalism by the Centre, atrocities against Sri Lankan Tamils, Lokpal Bill and the fight against corruption and other issues.

However, the government expressed confidence of sailing through crucial financial business during the Budget session.

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