Congress likely to convene meeting of party MPs Thursday

August 23rd, 2011 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) The Congress leadership is likely to convene a meeting of party MPs Thursday to discuss the steps taken to deal with the Lokpal logjam in the wake of concerns of party leaders over Anna Hazare’s fast and the picketing of the houses of some leaders by Hazare activists.

“Tomorrow, there is an all-party meeting. A day after, a meeting of Congress members of parliament is perhaps being called. This is how we gather inputs, discuss and express our concerns,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters at Parliament House.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of some party MPs going public with their reservations over the way Hazare’s fast was handled by the government in the initial days. Some Congress MPs have also faced protest by Hazare supporters in their constituencies, demanding that they support the Jan Lokpal bill.

Party MPs Sandeep Dikshit and Madhu Goud Yaskhi have expressed reservations over Hazare’s arrest by Delhi Police Aug 16 when he began fast.

Yaskhi told IANS the decision to arrest Hazare was a mistake and the move to lodge him in the Tihar Jail was “a big blunder”.

Party MP Priya Dutt from Mumbai had said that government’s Lokpal bill was “too weak” while Sanjay Nirupam, also from Mumbai, met a group of protesters wearing the “Mi Anna Ahe” topi.

Mumbai-South MP Milind Deora had tweeted that Anna’s legislation has merits “but a much deeper debate and understanding is essential before zeroing in on version A, B and/or C.”

Kurukshetra MP Naveen Jindal also said he supported an effective Lokpal. “Anna’s cause is exemplary and has to be done following due parliamentary process taking all on board,” said Jindal in his tweet.

The sources said that the leadership is also likely to spell out steps being taken by government to tackle corruption and bring in greater accountability in governance through the whistleblowers bill, amendment to the chief vigilance commission bill, the judicial accountability bill, and of course the Lokpal bill.

The party leadership is also keen to get a feedback from its MPs to prepare a strategy to deal with the attack from the opposition which has been trying to corner the government on the issue of corruption.

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