Congress top brass meets ahead of Budget Session



New Delhi: Ahead of the Budget Session of Parliament, Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi, on Wednesday held a meeting to decide on the strategy ahead.

Meeting of the Congress core group was held on the eve of the three month-long Budget Session, expected to be a stormy affair.

Government is going to face problem over the helicopter deal with allegations of kickback. It has already said that it was not averse to a JPC on the helicopter deal with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath stating, "we are open for a Joint Parliamentary Committee if this satisfies everybody."

The demand for the removal of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien in the wake of fresh revelations in the Suryanelli gangrape case is another issue which could put the Congress in problem. Kurien has time and again claimed innocence and has rejected the demand for his resignation.

Government has insisted that it was "neither afraid nor hesitant" on discussion on any issue during the Budget Session beginning tomorrow.

At a meeting of chief whips convened by Nath yesterday, political parties had conveyed that they intend to raise issues including the chopper deal, hanging of Afzal Guru, price rise, land acquisition, food security, during the session.

PTI