Govt calls all-party meet to reach consensus on contentious issues
Posted on: 09:49 AM IST Aug 13, 2013
New Delhi: The government has called an all-party meet on Tuesday to reach consensus on contentious issues. Political parties will decide on how the House will function and the passage of the RTI Amendment Bill.
The meet has been convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath for early passage of the Food Security Bill. The Bill is currently under consideration of the Lok Sabha and there is a plan to bring it before the Rajya Sabha next week.
Asked whether the controversy over Telangana could cast a shadow over the passage of the Food Bill, party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary replied in negative saying though what was happening in Andhra Pradesh was a very emotive issue, she does not think it will impact the Food Security Act, which is a "commitment to feed the nation".
A bill was on Monday introduced in the Lok Sabha today to keep political parties out of the ambit of the RTI Act and negate a Central Information Commission (CIC) order to this effect. The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2013 seeks to insert an explanation in Section 2 of the Act which states that any association or body of individuals registered or recognised as political party under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 will not be considered a public authority. The CIC order had termed Congress, BJP, BSP, NCP, CPI and CPI-M as political authorities.
In an all-party meeting called before the beginning of the monsoon session of Parliament, parties cutting across ideologies had opposed the July 10 verdict of the apex court that had struck down a provision in the electoral law that protects a convicted lawmaker from disqualification on the ground of pendency of appeal in higher courts. Government is working overtime to negate the order by seeking a review and even trying to bring parties on board for a constitutional amendment for this.
(With additional information from PTI)