M A I N   N E W S

PM rings up Vajpayee as Parliament adjourns again
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 5
As a determined Opposition disrupted Parliament on the opening day of the Budget session, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed to his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee to end the ongoing deadlock.

Dr Singh rang up Mr Vajpayee this evening to seek his cooperation in the smooth functioning of Parliament. He reiterated the government's offer to debate all issues, be it the inclusion of "tainted" ministers or the removal of governors. An adamant Opposition stalled proceedings in both Houses of Parliament today and has threatened to continue with its protest.

The Prime Minister's telephonic talk with Mr. Vajpayee today topped day-long efforts by the government to bring around an angry Opposition. It follows a similar conversation Dr. Singh had with Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani two days ago. Dr Singh told presspersons yesterday that he had even wanted to meet Mr Advani personally but the latter was away to Ahmedabad.

Dr Singh had said yesterday that Parliament should be allowed to function smoothly despite their political differences. He maintained that the government was open to discuss whatever issues the opposition wished to raise. The great institution of Parliament should be respected and allowed to function smoothly, he said.

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who had called an all-party meeting on Sunday, in an effort to end this impasse held another round of discussions with all the party leaders today. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Speaker reiterated his offer of a discussion.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned twice, the second time for the day, as the Opposition led by the BJP stormed the well of the House shouting slogans “remove tainted ministers and save the country”.

The issue had paralysed Parliament in the short session which took place last month after the UPA government assumed charge with an unrelenting Opposition demanding the removal of the “tainted” ministers.

However, new members in both the Houses were allowed to take oath. 


NDA strategy on Budgets today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 5
The BJP-led NDA will convene a meeting of all its MPs here tomorrow to formally take a decision on boycotting the presentation of Railway Budget by Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav and its approach to the Union Budget.

The NDA leaders decided today that MPs opinion on boycotting the presentation of Railway Budget by Mr Yadav should be sought so that an assessment could be made about the impact of the alliance move in Parliament among the masses, sources said.

After a meeting of senior NDA leaders called by Leader of Opposition L K Advani this morning, NDA MPs forced an adjournment of the House demanding the removal of "tainted" Ministers.

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