Patil’s address to Mexican parliament cancelled

April 17th, 2008 - 8:03 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil
By Liz Mathew
Mexico City, April 17 (IANS) Indian President Pratibha Patil, who is on a three-day visit to Mexico, won’t be addressing the joint session of parliament here as scheduled after Left legislators blocked proceedings to protest an energy reform bill. The blockade of the parliamentary session forced Mexican authorities to skip President Patil’s scheduled address to the joint session of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

According to officials in the ministry of external affairs accompanying the president during her 12-day Latin America tour, Mexican authorities informed Patil that it would be advisable if she avoided the programme.

Incidentally, communist MPs back home intensified their tirade against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government over the price rise the same day.

“Congress turns nomadic” was the headline of a front-page story of The News newspaper published from here Thursday. “Both houses relocate to temporary sites as leftist blockades continue”, it said.

Lawmakers from a coalition led by the Leftist Democratic Revolution Party seized the podiums of both houses and set up a round-the-clock protest of President Felipe Calderon’s proposal to ease limits on private involvement in oil exploration and production.

Mexican communists say the move would lead to selling off part of a state-run oil company and are demanding a national debate on the bill before it is considered by Congress.

Mexico’s bicameral Congress of the Union is composed of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

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