Office of profit: Parliament reconvenes on May 10

New Delhi, March 30 | Updated: Mar 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
The government on Thursday decided to reconvene Parliament from May 10 to enact a comprehensive Bill on redefining office of profit, prompting the BJP to point out that the move only affirmed their contention that an ordinance route had been under consideration earlier.

An all-party meet on the controversial issue was also ruled out, but defence minister Pranab Mukherjee will write to all political parties, seeking their views before finalising a draft legislation.

A meeting of the Cabinet committee on parliamentary affairs (CCPA), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, took the decision to reconvene the session as per the earlier schedulefrom May 10 to 23. The government had adjourned Parliament sine die on March 22, fuelling speculation that it wanted to go for an ordinance after the BJP maintained that the whole exercise was only aimed at saving Sonia Gandhis Lok Sabha seat.

However, the Congress president played a masterstroke, quitting from both the Lok Sabha as well as her NAC chairmanship, taking away the steam from the BJP campaign.

Briefing reporters, parliamentary affairs minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi said: The CCPA has decided that Mr Mukherjee shall write to the parties represented in Parliament to provide inputs as to what kind of legislation they prefer and their suggestions. The opinions received would form the basis of the proposed comprehensive Bill on the matter, he said.

To a question,he said there was no time-limit set to get political parties views. As soon as we get their opinion, it will enable us to understand their views. He said whether the legislation would be within the existing law or whether clauses needed to be changed would all depend on the views of political parties.

Claiming the cat was out of the bag, BJP said the UPAs decision had only vindicated its stand that Congress wanted to bring an ordinance to save Ms Gandhi.

The BJP welcomes the decision to reconvene the Parliament session from May 10 to May 23. However, the fundamental question is why was then Parliament adjourned sine die said party general secretary Arun Jaitley.