UPA leaders meet in capital; discuss Lokpal

Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, Jun 22: A meeting of UPA leaders was held in the national capital on Tuesday, Jun 21 in an apparent show of unity of the ruling alliance in the wake of issues like the Lokpal Bill.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi who is the UPA Chairperson and leaders of several of the constituents of the ruling alliance met on a day when the schedule for the Monsoon Session of the Parliament was announced.

The meeting saw Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee briefing the leaders on the discussions with Anna Hazare team on the Lokpal Bill which were concluded on Tuesday. Hazare had threatened fast from Aug 16 alleging that the government has no intention to draft a strong Lokpal Bill.

Though DMK supremo M Karunanidhi was in the Capital, he did not attend the meeting and instead sent Parliamentary Party leader T R Balu to represent the party at the high level meeting.

Karunanidhi is sulking since his daughter Kanimozhi has been jailed in the 2G spectrum scam and today went to the Tihar Jail for meeting her, his second visit there in the past one month.

Congress Spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan talking to reporters separately dismissed suggestions that the arrest of Kanimozhi, who has been denied bail by the Supreme Court only yesterday, has had an adverse impact on the party''s ties with the DMK.

National Conference Chief and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah said that the Prime Minister has already decided on convening an all party meeting, indicating that it would be held soon.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, Praful Patel of the NCP, Union Ministers E Ahmad of the IUML were present at the meeting along with senior Congress leaders A K Antony and Ahmad Patel.


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