NEW DELHI: With the second phase of the Budget session having commenced, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today held a strategy meeting with senior leaders.
The meeting comes at a time when Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has issued an ultimatum to the Centre to declare a moratorium on repayment of loans by West Bengal.
Besides the Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee, it was attended by several senior ministers including A K Antony, P Chidambaram, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Jairam Ramesh, Salman Khurshid as also political secretary to Congress President Ahmed Patel.
The consultations took place hours after Gandhi held parleys with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Congress Core Group meeting.
The government has already expressed confidence that Trinamool Congress will be on board to ensure passage of the Budget and the Finance Bill for 2012-13 by May 8.
There are plans to have a discussion and voting in the Lok Sabha on the Finance Bill on May 7-8 with government managers hoping to address the issues raised by the West Bengal Chief Minister.
The guillotine on the discussion on Demands for Grants in the Lok Sabha is being planned to be applied on May 3.
The Lok Sabha will have discussion on demands for grants of health ministry on April 26, Home on April 30, Urban Development on May 2 and Commerce and Industry on May 3.
The Rajya Sabha will go into the workings of the ministries of Labour and Employment on April 26, Defence on May 2, Civil Aviation on May 3 and Coal on May 7.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bansal said bills including the PFRDA will be taken after the passage of the Finance Bill.