Oppn leaders attend Govt meet to break Parliament impasse

Oppn leaders attend Govt meet to break Parliament impasse

New Delhi: Leaders of all parties on Monday attended a meeting convened by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee at Delhi in a bid to break the week-long deadlock between the government and opposition over the price rise issue in Parliament.

The formulation to be put up by the government for consideration at the meeting is: “This House expresses concern at inflationary pressure on the economy and calls upon the government to contain its impact."

Sources said there were differences among the various leaders on the modalities and wording of the resolution to express concern on the price rise issue.

While the government wanted to include the word inflation, the opposition parties wanted the price rise issue to be clearly stated.

BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Left leaders Gurudas Dasgupta, Basudeb Acharya and A B Bardhan, SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav were among those who attended the meeting.

From the government side, Union ministers P Chidamabaram, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Prithvi Raj Chauhan were present.

The meeting was convened to draw up a formula for ending the stalemate in both Houses of Parliament after the opposition stuck to their demand on discussion under a rule that entails voting, which is being staunchly opposed by the government.

The proceedings in Parliament were disrupted since the session began on Monday last due to the logjam.

NDA sources maintained that the alliance also wants an end to the impasse which has washed out the first week of the monsoon session and are agreeable to a solution which was acceptable to both the government and the opposition parties.

Sources said Yadav had a 15-minute conversation with Mukherjee on the issue. A copy of the proposed resolution has been given to JD(U) and BJP leaders, the sources said.

JD(U) has already given a notice under Rule 193, which entails only a discussion and no voting, in Lok Sabha on the price rise issue, sources said, indicating that the Opposition is agreeable to a climbdown to end the impasse.

Asked if BJP was open to the reported proposal from Mukherjee that a resolution “critical of the government" be passed in Parliament against the UPA regime on price rise after a discussion and the Opposition give up its demand for voting, party leaders said all would depend on the offer that Mukherjee makes to the Opposition.

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta had favoured the acceptance of the government formulation but declined to hazard any guess as to what would be the outcome of the meeting.

Parliamentary affairs minister P K Bansal expressed hope that a way out would be found out at the meeting to end the deadlock.