Cong chief Sonia Gandhi holds party meeting ahead of Budget Session

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New Delhi, Feb 22: Ahead of the Budget session, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday met senior party colleagues to discuss the strategy to be adopted in Parliament where the government intends to pass a number of bills, including converting certain Ordinances into an Acts.

The meeting was attended by party veteran A K Antony, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress Leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, its Chief Whip in the Lower House Jyotiraditya Scindia and Congress Deputy Leader in Upper House Anand Sharma.

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The leaders discussed the strategy of floor coordination with other parties and how to put the government on the mat on issues of public importance, sources said.

Parties from Janta Parivar have already made a common cause with the Congress on the Land Acquisition issue and the government is likely to face a united Opposition onslaught in Parliament when the bill to replace the Ordinance is brought before the House.

Congress has decided to target the government in a big way on the land ordinance issue, both inside and outside Parliament.

Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi will lead a protest at Jantar Mantar here on February 25 on the issue.

The protest is the culmination of the agitations being carried out at block, district and state levels. The event is being organised a day before a protest by Anna Hazare.

Former Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh will address a Kisaan Mahapanchayat on Sunday in Chauroli village of District Gautambudh Nagar of Uttar Pradesh. He had earlier addressed a similar Mahapanchayat at Bhatta-Parsaul, Mirzapur and Gharbara.

Congress has been maintaining that Land and Acquisition Bill introduced through Ordinance, was not only anti-farmer but also "against the soul and spirit" of the Right to Fair Compensation Law.

PTI

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