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Special Correspondent, The Hindu / NEW DELHI, August 1, 2011.
The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and the Opposition have agreed to discuss key issues — price rice and corruption and black money — in the monsoon session of Parliament, which began on Monday. But Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal said the two sides still need to narrow down differences on the rules under which these issues would be discussed. “I hope we will come to an understanding over the next couple of days,” he told journalists.
The principal opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, would like the two issues to be discussed under Rule 184 in the Lok Sabha and Rule 167 in the Rajya Sabha, both of which entail voting, while the government is making a pitch to discuss them under Rule 193 in the Lower House and Rule 176 in the Upper House, neither of which involves a determination by the Houses.
Motion on corruption
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, however, told journalists that while the government had no objection in principle to the NDA's proposal to table a motion under Rule 184 on price rise, it would like to see the wording of another proposed motion under the same rule, on corruption, before spelling out its position. Government sources confirmed that they were waiting to see the wording of the Opposition's motion on corruption before taking a view on it.
There was also the possibility of a common resolution emerging from the discussion, government sources added. But suggestions that a unanimous resolution asking the government to take steps to control price rise had not found favour with the Opposition as an earlier effort made no impact.
Ms. Swaraj said Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee had assured her and NDA Working Chairman L.K. Advani at a meeting on Sunday that the government would consider their motion on corruption. “We intend to table a motion in the Rajya Sabha on both price rise and corruption under Rule 167,” she said. “We hope the government would show flexibility on our demand for a discussion on the corruption under a rule that entails voting.”
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