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Opposition gears up to attack government

Tara Shankar Sahay and Shahid Abbas in New Delhi | July 20, 2003 19:01 IST
Last Updated: July 20, 2003 21:30 IST

A united opposition has decided to bring an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha on Monday, when the monsoon session commences, on the issue of the 'misuse' of the Central Bureau of Investigation in 'diluting' the charge sheet against Union ministers Lal Kishenchand Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

This was decided at a two-hour meeting of opposition leaders, convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi.

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Somnath Chatterjee, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Laloo Prasad Yadav and Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav were among those who attended the meeting.

"No other issue can be as important and as big as this issue (the CBI case against Advani). That is why we are taking on the government," the RJD chief said after the meeting.

"The government has been misusing CBI to help its supporters and to fix its opponents," he said.

"We will be raising all the issues together and it is a happy development that all opposition leaders are unanimous..." Chatterjee said.

The Taj Corridor project, the plight of farmers, flood and drought situations in the country, Tehelka, Iraq and the Best Bakery episode will also be raised, the opposition decided.

On the Women's Reservation Bill, the Congress and Left parties are adamant that nothing less than 33 per cent will satisfy them.

"We shall insist that the Women's Reservation Bill be brought before the House and we are suggesting some amendments," Chatterjee said.

"We are sitting again on Tuesday to further decide on the other issues."

Regarding the Best Bakery episode, the 'insistence will be on restarting the case in a court outside the state of Gujarat', Congress spokesperson S Jaipal Reddy told rediff.com

"The government has not filed any appeal and it is a serious matter," Chatterjee said.

Mulayam said it was a matter of concern that the government was 'demolishing' all democratic conventions.

"Whenever it wants, it traps people and whenever it wants, it absolves some," he said.

"The entire government rule is moving towards dictatorship of the worst kind and how the opposition parties will tackle it was discussed in the meeting today."

The spurt in railway accidents is also on the agenda and the opposition will grill Railway Minister Nitish Kumar on this issue.

The two Houses will continue till August 22.

Among the major bills that are slated to come up for approval before the Lok Sabha are the Foreigners' Amendment Bill, 2002, and Representation of People's Act, 2002.

The Rajya Sabha will take up the Central Vigilance Commission Bill, 2003, the Indian Council of World Affairs (Amendment) Bill, 2002, the Airport Authority of India Bill and the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Bill.

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