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Coal-gate: Govt sends Shinde as emissary to BJP

August 23, 2012 16:11 IST

With the impasse in Parliament continuing, the government on Thursday reached out to the main Opposition with Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde meeting BJP leader Sushma Swaraj after which he hoped the matter could be resolved by Monday.

"Yes, I have talked to her a little bit," Shinde told reporters outside Parliament while referring to his meeting with the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

Asked by when the current impasse could be resolved, the Home Minister said, "Let's see. I hope that by Monday the matter will be resolved...I am trying to settle it by tomorrow (also). Let's see."

The meeting came against the backdrop of a deadlock between the government and the BJP over the CAG report on coal block allocation, with the main Opposition being adamant on its demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation.

Due to the deadlock, Parliament has failed to function for the last three days.

Earlier in the day, Shinde maintained that the government is ready for a discussion.

He said, "So far their (BJP) stand is that they want to stall the House. But the government is prepared to discuss at length...unless the House starts, how can you discuss?"

Shinde said the prime minister himself has publicly said that he was prepared to discuss the CAG report on coal block allocation on the floor of the House.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the government had invited the BJP for talks but they did not agree.

"Do you think the answer to break the deadlock is to demand the resignation (of the Prime Minister)? They are not moving forward. Today we had invited them for talks. But they are probably not willing to talk. Perhaps they will be ready to talk on Monday," he told reporters outside Parliament.

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