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Congress backtracks on CM code

New Delhi, April 25: The Congress, which runs a majority of 15 state governments, seems unlikely to favour a code of conduct for chief ministers.

The idea of instituting a code of conduct was brought up in both Houses of Parliament last week amid the heat and dust generated by the Mayavati-Mulayam Singh Yadav tussle in Uttar Pradesh.

First mooted by CPM leader Somnath Chatterjee, the code got the endorsement of leaders of other parties, including the BJP and the Congress.

However, the issue reportedly came up for discussion at a meeting of the Congress executive, where party chief Sonia Gandhi opposed the idea and advised party workers against supporting it, sources said.

Floor leaders of various parties, including the Congress, had urged Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee to convene an all-party meeting to discuss a code of conduct for chief ministers, which would restrain them from indulging in acts of political vendetta against rivals. Members cited the FIRs lodged by Mayavati against Mulayam and similar instances in Tamil Nadu and Punjab.

Congress sources said there was no need for the party to support any code of conduct as “our chief ministers do not indulge in political vendetta”.

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