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Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 03, 2014
Ahead of the first meeting of the select committee on Insurance Bill, the Opposition is working on a strategy which would not allow clearance of the key reform legislation in a hurry. The panel will kick start its deliberations on the bill from Thursday. “The BJP may be in a hurry and have a deadline. From our side, we have to tread cautiously,” a senior Opposition member of the panel said on Wednesday.

Opposition members cutting across parties told HT they wanted to ensure that all stakeholders appeared before the panel to express their views as this was a key legislation, touching millions of citizens.

Sources added that Opposition parties like the Trinamool Congress, CPI(M), JD(U), SP, BSP and the Congress may come up with joint strategies.

Apart from the demand to invite all stakeholders before the panel, parties are also set to site local elections and upcoming festive season to go slow in calling meetings. This month, 33 assembly seats are going for election in nine states including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.

The long-delayed insurance act (amendment) bill has already missed one deadline during the current tenure of the NDA government—the budget session. The BJP, however, is confident of passing the bill in the winter session of Parliament.