Sonia, PM discuss strategy with UPA allies for Parliament session

Meeting against the backdrop of the July 5 'Bharat Bandh', which saw BJP and Left making a common cause, the UPA leaders discussed a host of issues that are expected to come up during the month-long session.

The opposition is likely to raise the issues of fuel price hike, the Bhopal gas tragedy case, unrest in Kashmir and the Indo-Pak stalemate. It is also likely to attack the government over a series of train accidents in recent months, including the one today in West Bengal.
Congress, on its part, is planning to target the BJP over the illegal mining scam in Karnataka.

This is the first time UPA leaders met before a Parliament session since the alliance returned to power in May last year. They had held their first meeting on the first anniversary of UPA II to present the report card.

Trinamool Congress led by Mamta Banerjee was not represented at the meeting as the Railway Minister rushed to West Bengal after another rail accident that killed over 60 people.

Banerjee did not send any of her party colleagues for the meeting. NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, who also could not make it, deputed Praful Patel.

Sources said that the Women's Reservation Bill and the Nuclear Civil Liability Bill did not come up for discussions at the meeting in which several pending bills and ordinances were discussed.

After the meeting, Home Minister P Chidambaram expressed government's readiness to discuss any matter on the floor of the House.

"Government is prepared to discuss any matter of interest and concern to the members on the floor of the House," Chidambaram told reporters adding that the assurance has been given by the Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee to leaders of different political parties.

He expressed the confidence that the ensuing Parliament session would be smooth affair.

Asked about the absence of Pawar and Banerjee, Chidambaram said that while Pawar could not come due to personal reasons, Banerjee was in Bengal.

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