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Rediff.com  » News » Cong warns amendment by TMC to prez address can be costly

Cong warns amendment by TMC to prez address can be costly

March 13, 2012 23:36 IST

As major ally Trinamool Congress tabled an embarrassing amendment to President's address, Congress on Tuesday night warned allies that such steps could threaten the stability of the government.

At the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to keep the flock together on crucial financial business in Parliament, Finance Minister and Leader of Opposition Pranab Mukherjee cautioned that amendments to the President's address or cut motions to Budget could cost the government dearly.

Highly placed sources said procedures were explained to the allies at the dinner meeting which top parliamentary leaders of Trinamool skipped and a backbencher of the party was present.

Mukherjee said actions like the amendment tabled by Trinamool seeking deletion of a paragraph on National Counterterrorism Center in the President's address could prove costly to the government, the sources said.

Asking Trinamool not to insist on the amendment and withdraw it, he said the party was part of the ruling coalition and it was not proper for it to resort to such actions.

"Procedures were explained. If cut motion adopted, then...," a source said.

The Trinamool representative Ratna De Nag, on her part, said her party was not for destabilising the government and only was keen on a good package for West Bengal.

Earlier in the day, Trinamool MP Kalyan Banerjee tabled amendment seeking deletion of paragraph on NCTC.

Normally amendments are tabled are only by opposition and not by ruling constituents because if they are passed, the government has to go.

More than 2,700 amendments to the President's address to Parliament have been submitted in both houses in a bid to corner the government on issues like NCTC, federalism and corruption.

Among the parties which have moved the amendments are Bharatiya Janata Party, Biju Janata Dal, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam, Left parties, Telugu Desam Party, Janata Dal (United), Shiromani Akali Dal Punjab and Shiv Sena on the address related to issues ranging from NCTC, alleged assault on federalism by the Centre, atrocities against Sri Lankan Tamils, Lokpal Bill and the fight against corruption and other issues.

After the dinner meeting, the government expressed confidence of sailing through crucial financial business during the Budget session.

The issues to come up during the three-month long session were discussed and Mukherjee impressed upon the leaders that all members of their parties should be present in the house as there are crucial businesses that will come up.

Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters that there was a "fair chance" that there could be voting on occasions during the debate on Budget and Railway Budget.

"We all agreed that there should be greater coordination because of crucial items of business-- motion of thanks to the President's address, Railway Budget and General Budget," he said.

"There is a fair chance that there could be voting when these three subjects are taken up," Chidambaram said, adding "therefore we requested the allies that they should ensure that their members are present in the house and vote along with the government."

He expressed confidence that financial business would be passed in Parliament. "We confidently look forward to effective participation in Parliament during the next couple of weeks until the essential financial business is completed," he said.

PTI
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