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Parties support govt move to amend election law

The government had convened the all-party meeting to seek convergence on four issues

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: August 14, 2013 1:53:35 am

The government on Tuesday got support from all parties on its proposal to amend the Representation of the People Act (RPA) to undo a Supreme Court verdict that provided for immediate disqualification of MPs and MLAs who are sentenced for more than two years in a criminal case.

The government had convened the all-party meeting to seek convergence on four issues. After the meeting,Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters,“We discussed the SC judgment on AIIMS (regarding reservation)…. We talked about the Judicial Commission and various court pronouncements…. There is a consensus among all political parties for effective steps to ensure the supremacy of Parliament. All parties demanded an amendment in the Representation of the People Act. All political parties also want the Judicial Commission Bill to be introduced in this session.”

Law Minister Kapil Sibal briefed the floor leaders on the government proposal to amend the RPA.

Regarding the court judgment which barred people from contesting election if they were in police custody even for a day,Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said the BJP backed the government move for an amendment to the RPA to undo it.

The floor leaders also reaffirmed their support to the proposed amendment in the RTI Act to overturn an order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) for bringing parties under its purview. A Bill seeking to amend the Act was moved by Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Regarding the proposed Judicial Appointments Commission Bill,which would replace the prevailing collegium system,Swaraj said while her party supported it in principle,it wanted the Bill referred to the Standing Committee.

JD(U) president Sharad Yadav raised the issue of the Supreme Court ruling concerning reservation in super-speciality faculty of the AIIMS. All parties were in agreement for filing a review in the court.

Swaraj and Yadav told TDP leader Nama Nageswara Rao to facilitate smooth functioning of the House and shift their protest against the Telangana issue outside. Rao said people in Andhra Pradesh were agitated over the Telangana issue and even Congress members were involved in public protests. Kamal Nath asked Rao to confine himself to his party and not refer to the Congress.

As for disruptions,CPM’s Sitaram Yechury,SP’s Ram Gopal Yadav and BSP’s Satish Mishra sarcastically said that the Congress and BJP should decide whether or not the two Houses would run.

Swaraj said her party was prepared to co-operate with the government for clearing business,but it should be allowed to raise issues it wished to. CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta wanted that the Left be allowed to take up people’s issues like price rise and the slide in rupee value.

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