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Bizarre for Modi Government to Expect Congress Support: Patel

Published: 20th February 2015 01:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th February 2015 01:08 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW ZEALAND: Amid reports that the government plans to reach out to Congress for passage of crucial bills, senior leader Ahmed Patel today said it would be "bizarre" for the Narendra Modi dispensation to expect support from the party after it has diluted UPA's policies and programmes.

"It will be bizarre for govt to be expecting support from Congress after it has diluted UPA's policies & programmes for needy," Patel, Political Secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, said on micro-blogging site Twittter.

The statement is significant as it comes just three days ahead of the Parliament's Budget session in which the government has lined up a number of bills for consideration and passage including a controversial ordinance on Land acquisition.

Ahead of the Budget session, the Narendra Modi government is trying to reach out to opposition parties for ensuring passage of several pending bills.

The government has called an all-party meeting on Sunday at 12:30 PM which will be attended by the Prime Minister.

According to reports, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu spoke to Patel and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Government managers are saying that they are in touch with all parties and are hopeful that on national interest, the opposition will come forward to support.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has a majority in the Lok Sabha, it is outnumbered in the Rajya Sabha. The NDA has only 57 members on its side in the House with a total strength of 245 MPs.

The government needs to get crucial bills passed in the budget session to replace ordinances it has promulgated.

These ordinances, including those on the insurance sector, land acquisition, and coal block allocations, will lapse and will have to be re-promulgated in the absence of parliamentary passage for the legislation.

Securing passage for the bills would help send out a strong signal to foreign and domestic investors that the government is firm on its commitment to push through its reform agenda.

The top bills on the government's agenda deal with land acquisition, foreign investment in the insurance sector, mines and minerals, coal blocks, and the citizenship act.

The Congress is vehemently opposed to the controversial ordinance on the Land acquisition bill as also a number of other parties including the JD-U and the Left.

Congress has also been accusing the government of drastically curtailing the allocation to the MGNREGA, UPA's flagship rural employment programme.

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