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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No more deals on lokpal: Sonia says ready for battle

No more deals on lokpal: Sonia says ready for battle

Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday told party MPs that Congress was ready to fight for lokpal and women's bill, reports said. The opposition and Team Anna should accept the government's draft bill, she added.

Congress has fulfilled its poll promises on food security and lokpal Sonia Gandhi

Describing the lokpal bill as a pathbreaking legislation, Gandhi on Wednesday urged Hazare to accept it.

Addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party, Gandhi said no other party had done as much as the Congress to fight corruption.

Describing as a canard speculation that there were differences between the government and the party, she said there could be different perceptions on some important issues but in the final count both were on the same platform.

Referring to the Burari session of the Congress last December, Gandhi said the party had decided on the steps to fight corruption and delivered on those promises.

The government, she said, had brought the whistleblowers bill, put in place the grievances redressal mechanism, the Lokpal bill, and the citizens charter.

Referring to the food security bill, she said addressing concerns of the common man was central to the agenda of the United Progressive Alliance.

Gandhi slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for obstructing important legislations that the government was bringing to fight corruption and to address grievances of the people.

The Congress president said the BJP had not reconciled to its defeat in the 2004 Lok Sabha election and then the 2009 elections and thus was creating all possible obstacles in the passage of important legislations.

Briefing journalists on the address, union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal said a canard was being spread that the government and the party were not on the same side on several issues.

Gandhi interacted with party MPs on Wednesday amid challenges galore for the party and the government in the New Year.

Later in the evening, she will also host a dinner for party MPs at a hotel.

The Congress Parliamentary Party meeting on Wednesday morning was the first such meeting to be addressed by Gandhi in the last few months as the Congress President had skipped the monsoon session in July-August on account of being ill.

Gandhi, who is also UPA chairperson, had gone abroad for surgery for an unspecified ailment at that time.

The CPP meeting is also being held at a time when the lokpal bill is being debated intensely.

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