UPA passes 2 bills amid din, won't touch disputed ones
Even as the controversy over the coal allocation issue continued on Thursday, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government managed to pass two bills without discussion or voting.
The ruling dispensation, however, is unlikely to take advantage of the situation for pushing forth its long-pending reforms agenda.
The UPA managers don't want to alienate some of its allies, who are apprehensive about the reforms-related bills.
They also appear unwilling to ruffle the feathers of the non-NDA opposition parties, especially the Left, which are not toeing the BJP's hard line on the coal allocation issue.
Many bills, including the Banking Laws (Amendment) Act and Higher Education Bill, may be relegated to the backburner, although they were initially listed for passage in Lok Sabha.
In a special meeting held at Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar's chamber on Thursday, parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal denied any such plan.
He gave the assurance after some opposition parties objected to passing contentious bills by taking advantage of the ongoing controversy.
The government restricted itself to passing two non-controversial bills - the Chemical Weapons Convention (Amendment) Bill and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill-2012.
Later, law minister Salman Khurshid defended the decision by saying, "I feel it was necessary. Some bills have a deadline."
The AIIMS Bill enables the Centre to set up institutes similar to the prestigious medical institute across the country through notification.