FM meets Oppn leaders over MPs’ salary issue

FM meets Oppn leaders over MPs’ salary issue
PTI
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First Published: Sat, Aug 21 2010. 04 31 PM IST
Updated: Sat, Aug 21 2010. 04 31 PM IST
New Delhi: After the uproar over MPs’ salary hike and passage of Indian Medical Council Bill without debate, Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday held a meeting with leaders of BJP, RJD and SP and assured them that their concerns would be addressed.
The meeting was attended by Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav who pressed for hike in the salaries of MPs to Rs80,001 as they were not satisfied with Rs50,000 approved by the Cabinet on Friday.
They also said that the Medical Council Bill should have been taken up for voting only after a discussion.
“Our demand was that discussion should be held on MCI Bill. The government has agreed to hold discussion in the House under Rule 193 (which does not entail voting),” BJP’s deputy leader Gopinath Munde told reporters later.
Members of BJP and some other parties vociferously protested against the passage of the Medical Council Bill in the Lok Sabha on Friday without debate amid din over MPs’ salary hike.
After the House was adjourned in the wake of uproar, several members of BJP, RJD and SP staged a ‘mock’ sitting of the Lok Sabha in which Munde became the speaker and Lalu Prasad became the prime minister.
On the issue of MPs’ salary, Munde said the matter has been left to Pranab Mukherjee.
“Whatever decision he (Mukherjee) takes after holding discussions...he will also hold deliberations with others,” he said.
The Cabinet had given its nod to increase basic salaries of the lawmakers from Rs16,000 to Rs50,000 per month. However, unhappy with the quantum of hike, parties like RJD, SP, Shiv Sena, Akali Dal protested in the House disrupting proceedings.
Satisfied with Mukherjee’s response, Munde said the Opposition parties have agreed for smooth conduct of Parliament proceedings.
Later, NDA convenor Sharad Yadav said in the Lok Sabha that the government had assured agitating MPs that their concerns on salary hike would be addressed.
“The matter regarding the hike of salary of MPs has been resolved,” Yadav said, apprising the House of the meeting.
“The House will now function as per rules,” he said.
Sharad Yadav said the leaders conveyed their concerns over the manner in which the Medical Council Bill was passed.
It was decided at the meeting that a short duration discussion would be held in the House on the MCI Bill and its outcome would be considered appropriately in the next session.
Speaker Meira Kumar had disapproved of the ‘mock’ Parliament conducted by Prasad, Munde and Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Senior BJP leaders had also made known their displeasure to party members who participated in the ‘mock’ Parliament.
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First Published: Sat, Aug 21 2010. 04 31 PM IST