Govt may reconvene Winter Session in Febraury
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Running against time for packaging Rahul Gandhi as a symbol of probity ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the UPA government is likely to resume the Winter Session of Parliament in the first week of February and clear the remaining anti-corruption Bills.
"This will be independent of the Budget Session," a senior minister said on Wednesday, emphasising that the reconvened session will be designed to only push through important Bills. "We are committed to complete the process (of passing the whole lot of legislations aimed at checking corruption)," he said.
The pending Bills include the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013, the Right of Citizens for Time-Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011, the Public Procurement Bill, 2012, Bill to address Foreign Bribery, Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010, and the Whistle-blowers Protection Bill, 2011.
Another minister, Jaipal Reddy, told reporters that the government will also bring in the Telangana statehood Bill during the session. He expressed confidence that the Bill will be passed, underlining that he could say so because "I am not only a cabinet minister but also a senior parliamentarian". Accounting for 32 of its current Lok Sabha members from Andhra, the Congress is faced with a rout in the state this time unless it carves out the new state and cuts its losses.
The Congress window-dressing started when Rahul got up to bat for the the Lokpal Bill in the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session. Stressing the need for a "comprehensive anti-corruption code", he had called for an extension of the session to pass the remaining six anti-graft Bills. "Even after the passage of the Lokpal Bill, four of these laws still remain pending in the Lok Sabha and two in the Rajya Sabha," he had said. "I believe, it is our responsibility to complete our unfinished work in our fight against corruption."