Cabinet ignores Prez reference on OoP
PM meets Kalam and apprises him of the Govt's decision not to make any changes in the bill. Express your opinionindia Updated: Jul 22, 2006 19:36 IST
Ending a two-month suspense, the Union Cabinet on Saturday rejected President APJ Abdul Kalam's suggestion for reconsideration of the controversial Office of Profit Bill and decided to re-introduce it in Parliament in the same form next week.
Simultaneously, the government would make fresh efforts to reach a consensus by holding talks with the Opposition on the measure.
A Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh decided to bring a motion in response to President Kalam's message appealing to Parliament to reconsider the Bill.
It had been passed in the Budget session in the wake of a political row over the office of profit issue which had led to the resignation of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi from the Lok Sabha.
The Bill will first come before the Rajya Sabha on July 25, some two months after Parliament approved it on May 17 and returned by the President on May 30 with several suggestions.
There was an intense hour-long debate in the Cabinet over the measure, with some suggesting it should not give an impression that the government was on a confrontationist path with the President.
Sources said there was another view that a motion on the President's message should be placed along with the Bill.
PM apprises Kalam on Govt decision
Shortly after the Union Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apprised President APJ Abdul Kalam of government's decision to bring the controversial Office of Profit Bill in Parliament without changes next week.
During the 25-minute meeting, the two leaders discussed important matters of national interest, Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesman SM Khan said.
"The Prime Minister also apprised the President about the Union Cabinet's decision on the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Bill, 2006," he said.
While returning the bill on May 30, the President had wanted that the criteria of exemption of posts should be "fair and reasonable" and applicable in a "clear and transparent" manner across the states and Union Territories.
Immediately after the Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister went into confabulations with Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Shivraj Patil.