The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Parties warm to bill

New Delhi, March 25: A consensus appears to be taking shape in favour of a comprehensive amendment bill, not a stand-by ordinance, to redefine the concept of office of profit.

However, political parties have left it to the government to decide when Parliament should convene to pass the amendment. A session is unlikely before the Assembly elections end in May.

After meeting L.K. Advani and Left leaders separately, parliamentary affairs minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi said: “Everyone wants an amendment to the parent law comprehensively.”

The talks are learnt to have centred on several points. One, whether to issue an ordinance or a comprehensive bill. Two, if it is a bill, whether it should be comprehensive or a token amendment and three, when the House should be convened.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took the initiative and deputed Das Munshi for the talks. Singh handed Das Munshi a four-point questionnaire and asked him to seek specific answers from the parties.

Keen to avoid a replay of the controversy, an official took down the submissions. Singh is expected to convene an all-party meeting in the first week of April.


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