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Ordinance or Bill? Govt silent on the issue

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March 23, 2006 20:25 IST

A day after the abrupt adjournment of Parliament session, there was no clarity on whether the government is bringing an ordinance to redefine office of profit or a bill in the normal course when Parliament meets next.

All that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said was that the government has not considered the ordinance and that "all options are open".

There were enough indications from overnight developments that an ordinance was to be considered at the Cabinet meeting on Thursday but there was a sudden turn of events with Sonia Gandhi expressing herself against any measure to 'protect' her by exempting the chairpersonship of the National Advisory Council from office of profit. She resigned from the Lok Sabha and the chairpersonship.

Added to that was opposition from Left parties to any move to bring an ordinance to amend the law that lists those offices of profit, which will not attract disqualification on incumbent MPs.

When asked whether promulgation was still an option, Dr Singh said, "There is no explicit decision as of now. We have not considered the ordinance. All options are open. We will discuss with other political parties and strive to have the widest possible consensus."

At a post Cabinet briefing, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P R Dasmunshi maintained that the ordinance was not discussed at the Cabinet meeting. But he parried all questions on whether the Government was still considering the ordinance route.

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