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Dasmunsi defends decision to adjourn Parliament sine die

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 22 (UNI) Strongly defending the Government's decision to adjourn the Budget session of Parliament sine die, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said the step had been taken as there was no pending business, requiring an extension of the session.

''All financial business was completed and nothing was pending.

Therefore it was decided to recommend adjournment of the House sine die,'' he asserted, at the customary press conference held at the end of a parliamentary session.

The Minister, however, remained evasive whether the Government intended to issue an ordinance to redefine the offices of profit, saying the government had the prerogative when to issue an ordinance. ''The Government is competent to do so. It is within the powers vested with the government under the Constitution,'' he said.

He also refuted the charge that the ending of the session in this manner was ''unprecedented'' and ''smacked of dictatorship,'' and cited four occasions, including one during the NDA period, when Parliament was adjourned in this fashion.

Mr Dasmunsi maintained that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was not holding any office of profit. ''The office of the chairperson of the National Advisory Council did not fall under the category of 'Office of Profit,' he asserted.

To a question whether Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee was holdingan office of profit, he said that he was not competent to comment on the Speaker.

''Mr Chatterjee's credentials are above board,'' the Minister said, adding that ''as a policy, something which affected honour of Parliament should be dealt by the Parliament itself.'' MORE UNI KAS/YS VD HS1833

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