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Political Parties for Bill to be passed on Office of Profit

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 25 (UNI) Amid the ''office of profit'' controvery, the Congress-led UPA government today began an excercise to evolve a consensus among all political parties to resolve the issue.

According to sources, Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi spoke to CPI-M leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury on telephone assuring them that a Bill might be brought soon to redefine ''office of profit''.

A Special Session of Parliament could be convened to enact a legislation for the purpose, she said.

Ms Gandhi also talked to other party leaders from the UPA to ascertain their views, the sources said.

The Left party leaders reportedly expressed the view that the controversy was creating an embarrasing situation for their parties.

They wanted a Bill to be introduced in Parliament at the earliest in view of the approaching Assembly elections in four states and Pondicherry.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before he started the process of consultations with the Opposition parties to sort out the issue.

Mr Dasmunsi conferred with BJP leaders L K Advani and Jaswant Singh to seek their opinion on whether they favoured enactment of legislation on the issue.

While the BJP leaders were believed to have agreed to a Bill being brought and Parliament being reconvened for the purpose, informed BJP sources asserted that no such promise was made at the meeting.

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister also met Mr Karat and Mr Yechury who also reportedly spoke in favour of a Bill being brought to redefine ''office of profit''.

Mr Dasmunshi also elicited their opinion on the desirablity of bringing an ordinance to sort out the matter at the earliest.

While there was consensus among the parties whom Mr Dasmunshi consulted today, on bringing forward a Bill to exempt some posts from the definition of office of profit, an agreement was yet to be arrived at on when Parliament should be reconvened for the purpose.

The move to bring forward a Bill on office of profit got momentum following Congress President Sonia Gandhi's resignation from the Lok Sabha and as Chairperson of the National Advisory Council after the Opposition targetted her saying that the government had got Parliament adjourned sine die ahead of schedule to bring an ordinance to save her from being disqualified.


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