M A I N   N E W S

Sonia to meet UPA leaders today
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 7
Although it is clear that former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh’s days in the Congress are numbered, especially after he went ahead with the privilege notice against the Prime Minister, the party appeared reluctant to take any action against the defiant leader.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranajn Dasmunshi today said that the Congress would take an “appropriate decision on Mr Singh at an appropriate time” although he admitted that it is “unbecoming” of a responsible party member to bring such a motion against his own leader.

While the party has said it will pursue this matter only after the two presiding officers take a final view on the admissibility of the privilege motion, the Congress leadership has decided to take a call on Mr Natwar Singh only after it has examined the Pathak report which has indicted him.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who conferred with senior Cabinet ministers on today’s developments, is slated to meet UPA leaders tomorrow to consult them on this matter.

She will be going to Kanpur tomorrow for a public meeting and it appears unlikely that any decision on Mr Natwar Singh will be taken over the next two days. This could be in the nature of a show-cause notice, suspension or even expulsion.

Regarding his decision on the privilege motion, UPA sources said House rules allowed a member to ask a question, move a resolution and give notice for a motion and any move to act against him on this basis would open a Pandora’s box as it would be seen as an attempt to gag members.

The party leadership is, therefore, waiting to hear what the former minister has to say—he plans to make a statement in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow—before making a case against him.

The veteran Congress leader is already in the dock for defying the three-line party whip for the vote on the office of profit Bill and also consorting with non-Congress parties, besides joining hands with them in seeking a breach of privilege motion against the Prime Minister.

“Mr Natwar Singh can be pulled up on three counts—on the basis of the Pathak report, his decision on the motion against the PM and his defiant public statements,” remarked a senior UPA leader.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |