Congress top brass including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi today held consultations in the backdrop of plans by the government to bring the Lokpal Bill in Parliament next week and Team Anna's opposition to certain provisions.
A meeting of the Congress core group was held close on the heels of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Lokpal Bill presenting its report to Parliament today.
Among those who were present at the Congress Core group were finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, home minister P Chidambaram, defence minister AK Antony and Ahmed Patel, the political secretary to Congress president.
This is also the first meeting of the Congress core group after the fiasco over FDI in retail issue.
Ahead of Anna Hazare's dharna here on Sunday, Government today said Team Anna should await the passage of the Lokpal Bill before going ahead with any agitation on the issue.
"They should all wait for a decision in Parliament. People can give their views and Parliament takes the decision," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters.
In reply to a question on Hazare's proposed day-long agitation at Jantar Mantar on Sunday and Team Anna's attack on the Standing Committee's report on Lokpal Bill, Bansal said, "It amuses and bemuses me that discussions will be held in Jantar Mantar."
He said issues, if any, needed to be resolved in an atmosphere of peace and amity and not by vitiating it. "It is the responsibility of Parliament to pass laws. That right flows from the Constitution and in that respect Parliament is supreme," he said.
He also wanted Team Anna to understand that law-making is a dynamic process.
The talk in government circles is that the Bill could come up for discussion at a meeting of the Union Cabinet likely on December 14 and it would be brought for consideration on December 19.