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Left in dilemma on office of profit controversy

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 2 (UNI) The Left parties seem to be divided on the office of profit controversy even as Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee has begun consultations with various parties on legislation to be passed on the issue by Parliament at its reconvened session from May 10.

While the CPI says categorically that no MP or MLA should be allowed to hold any position other than those created by the House, the CPI(M) has called for ''a two track approach'', including an exemption for those who are currently holding such positions.

Talking to UNI, CPI leaders A B Bardhan and Shamim Faizi said, ''No MP or MLA should occupy any office other than those created by the House.'' CPI(M) senior leader and Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said in his meeting with Mr Mukherjee, he had told the Defence Minister that the only way the situation could be settled was on the floor of Parliament.

Mr Yechury, who is also the editor of the party weekly 'People's Democracy', told Mr Mukherjee that a two-way approach would be ideal.

To begin with, all MPs who are currently holding positions which are not exempted, must be excluded from the list of the office of profit. Secondly, the office should be properly defined and in future any member who violates the provisions, must be disqualified.

Ironically, ten MPs, including Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, also figure in the controversy, which saw the first casualty in Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha member Ms Jaya Bachchan, followed by the resignation of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi from the Lok Sabha, which was emulated by Dr Karan Singh and Mr Anil Ambani-- both Rajya Sabha MPs.

RSP leader and MP Abani Roy said his party would formulate a formal position only after studying the legislation, for which Parliament has been specially convened from May 10 to 23.

MORE UNI KSA PA HT1117

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