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STs and OBC quota bill coming next week

Key bills on Pension reforms, Insurance and Banking Regulation will not come up in the winter session, reports Saroj Nagi.

india Updated: Dec 09, 2006 00:23 IST
Saroj Nagi

The Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) bill and the OBC quota-in-education are expected to be brought before Parliament next week.

But key bills on Pension reforms, Insurance and Banking Regulation will not come up in the winter session since the differences with the Left still remain to be sorted out. Nor is the Women's reservation bill on the anvil, given the fact that a key UPA ally, the RJD, wants Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to hold an all- party meeting to evolve a consensus that has proved elusive so far.

Instead, the focus of the Government will be on actively pursuing the National Common Minimum Programme so that by March 2007, it is able to meet two-third of the commitments it has made.

In keeping with Congress President Sonia Gandhi's directive, Parliamentary Affairs Minister PR Dasmunsi will interact with the Ministers concerned on the progress of these flagship programmes. As part of this exercise, the party has also started briefing its MPs on these initiatives.

The focus on the CMP has raised speculation whether the Government was preparing for a possible mid-term poll. But Dasmunsi denied it.

"The move is not aimed at holding early elections. If we complete our NCMP agenda, we will go for an appendix to it,'' he said to a pointed query.

Reacting to a question whether the government's move to include the creamy layer in the OBC quota bill would be struck down by the Supreme Court---which had wanted it excluded---Dasmunsi said that the bill was cleared unanimously by the Cabinet.

"If there is no milk how can there be cream?'' he asked.
For want of time, the Sachar panel report would not be debated during the winter session ending on December 19, with the Minister ruling out an extension of the session.

Even otherwise, the government was not keen on a discussion on an issue which is likely to be used by the SP and the BJP to polarise voters in the UP assembly polls. It was also not keen to discuss the issue of judicial activism lest it send out a wrong message.

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First Published: Dec 09, 2006 00:23 IST