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UPA cuddles up before 'stormy' Monsoon Session

Source: PTI
July 19, 2010 20:15 IST
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Ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament, leaders of the UPA allies on Monday met in New Delhi to discuss their strategy to counter the Opposition which is geared up to target the government on price rise and a host of other issues.

"It was a coordination meeting of UPA allies. The government is prepared to discuss any matter of interest and concern to the members on the floor of the House," Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the meeting.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi attended the meeting as also all the allies except Railway Minister and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who heads the NCP.

Chidambaram said that Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee has already conveyed to Opposition leaders that government was willing to discuss any matter of concern to the members.

Besides price rise, Opposition will seek to corner the government on naxal threat, Indo-Pak stalemate, Karnataka mining, controversy over the allocation of 2G Spectrum and other issues.

Chidambaram, however, expressed confidence that the monsoon session of Parliament beginning July 26 would be smooth.

"Parliament session will remain smooth and a lot of work will be done," he said. Asked about the absence of Pawar and Banerjee, he said that while Pawar could not come due to personal reasons, Banerjee was in Bengal.

Chidambaram said various bills, including those to be introduced, were discussed in the meeting.

"We also identified a number of issues which the political parties would like to raise in the House," he said.

Asked whether the Women's Reservation Bill would be introduced in the Lok Sabha, the home minister said he was not talking about any specific Bill and it was for the Business Advisory committee to take a decision.

Apart from the Prime Minister, the UPA chairperson and Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, senior NCP leader Praful Patel, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, DMK leader T R Baalu and Political Secretary to Congress Presient Ahmed Patel, were among others who attended the meeting.

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