Parliament live: 'Bechara' Antony defends statement over Pakistan attack

17: 30 pm: 'Bechara' Antony says he had limited info about attack

After being accused by the opposition of giving Pakistan an escape route by calling those who attacked the Indian soldiers 'terrorists', Defence Minister AK Antony said he had made the statement based on what little information he had.

My response was a proper response from a responsible government, he said,

"At this stage we don't want to jump to conclusions," Antony said.

India is a responsible country and that is why such a statement had been made, he said.

"Due to this I can only say that 20 armed terrorists dressed as Pakistan Army soldiers attacked our soldiers," he said.

He said the government was ensuring that the armed forces were prepared to take on any threat.

"We are strengthening our capabilities and our armed forces are on vigil 24 hours a day," the minister said.

He said that Army Chief had assured him that they are confident of facing such incidents of intrusion in the future.

17:00 pm: Take action please, Mayawati, Sitaram Yechury and all other leaders tell govt

It seems to be a united front against Pakistan in Parliament at least. All the parties want the Congress government to take strong action against Pakistan.

Cutting across party lines, the MPs have asked the government for data on how many such incidents have taken place and what action will be taken in the future.

4.50 pm: Who needs Congress' wisdom when Shiv Sena is here to help?

However, unlike Jaitley, the Shiv Sena showed little faith in the UPA government's fabled wisdom.

MP Sanjay Raut therefore officially came with with a suggestion that Sushma Swaraj had till now treated Twitter to! He suggested the Indian Army cross the border and in exchange for the five lives Pakistan took, they murder 50 Pakistani soldiers. That, he suggested, would be proper payback.

Who said Sunny Deol's beat-up-evil-Pakistanis brand of patriotism, immortalised by compelling manifestations of the great Indian testosterone like Gadar and Hero, has no takers now?

4.40 pm: 'No one knows who controls Pakistan, we shouldn't let our guard down'

Arun Jaitley took up in the Rajya Sabha what Yashwant Sinha left incomplete in the Lok Sabha. Without launching into verbose vilification, Jaitley put out his opinions and suggestions with precision.

Again, this was a rare good day for AK Antony in the Parliament. Jaitley began his address referring to Antony as the 'honourable' defence minister, with little hint of usual dose of sarcasm in it.

"I would like to join the honourable defence minister to mourn the deaths of the soldiers and express my deep condolences to their families. However, I would like to point out here that these attacks on India are not isolated. The beheadings, Sarabjit's killing, the attack on the Indian consulate in Jalalabad... all happened one after another in just a couple of months. This can't be a coincidence," he said.

As we observed in the article earlier on, Jaitley was more concerned about the policy modifications that should follow an incident like this and questioned the nature of diplomatic relations that India maintains with Pakistan. The heat, therefore, will be felt more by Salman Khurshid when he will have to explain India's diplomatic stand on Pakistan and justify what precious purpose the Indian government's peace talks have served till now.

However, Jaitley did make space for irony when he pointed out the section in Antony's statement where he mentions 'persons dressed in Indian Army uniforms'. Given that Pakistan's favourite defence has been denial, Jaitley pointed out that Antony just provided the neighbours with an escape route. "They have denied their involvement in the 1999 Kargil War, the 26/11 attacks, the beheading of our soldiers. By saying 'there were men in Pakistan Army uniform' the minister just gave Pakistan a clean chit and gave them an opportunity to reiterate their lie," said Jaitley.

Incidentally, Pakistan has issued an official statement which just confirms Jaitley's allegations. They said that there was no cross border firing hence the Pakistan Army could no way be responsible for the deaths.

Jaitley also suggested that India stregthen its foreign policy and border management tactics given that the Nato troops are all set to be withdrawn from Afghanistan and Pakistan, thereby placing the responsibility to curb violence singularly on the countries - the same countries which have failed miserably in doing so.

"The distinction between Pakistan's state actors and its non state actors has been obliterated. It might be a conscious strategy of Pakistan government to pretend lack of knowledge about terrorist activities. No one knows who controls Pakistan," said Jaitley.

How foreign policy can be modified to address such concerns was an issue that, however, Jaitley left to the 'wise judgment' of the government.

That will be a compliment the Congress government will surely find both hard to digest and live up to!

3.04 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned again, this time for the day

Defence minister AK Antony finally prepared the statement that he would make before the Parliament. He said that the infiltration and consequent killing of five Indian soldiers were carried out by at least 20 armed terrorists in Pakistani Army uniforms. He even indicated that there has been a sharp increase in infiltration attempts by terrorists. "There have been 57 ceasefire violations in the past few months. The tally has gone up by 80 percent. We strongly condemn the killings and have registered strong protest to the Pakistan government through diplomatic channels. Our Army is strong and has foiled 17 infiltration bids in the past couple of months and eliminated several terrorists," he said.

He expressed his condolence for the families of the deceased and said that he had deep respect for those who laid down their lives in the line of duty. The house, as expected, was neither impressed nor pacified by his statement. Members of the Lok Sabha started hollering at him as he hurried through his speech without looking up even once from the paper he was reading from.

As soon as his speech ended, familiar spasms of screaming and shouting seized the House and a disinterested chair person immediately adjourned the House till next day.

While Antony might have put up a brave-ish face and admitted to the steep rise in incidents of ceasefire violations, he just made things way more complicated for colleague and external affairs minister Salman Khurshid. Khurshid will forever regret the biryani he allegedly treated former Pak Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf following his visit to the Ajmer Sharif Dargah. By admitting to the increased incidents of intolerance from Pakistani army, the government has set itself up for more questions on their preparedness when it comes to attacks likes these and most importantly diplomatic stand on Pakistan - something Khurshid will have to answer in case he decides to turn up in the Parliament.

2.16 pm: Andhra MPs, the new Red Bull postermen

While pre-lunch, the Andhra MPs might have been a little low on juices, post lunch they bounced right back. Even before the deputy speaker could settle down on his chair, they started sloganeering.

Guessing that they are only humans and can tire of repeating two lines for hours, over two days, they decided to change things up a bit. This time they pulled a Anu Malik on their slogan "we want justice" and spat it out in at least three different tunes!

Brownie points for innovation, none for either intelligence or sensitivity.

The bored deputy speaker lost no time in declaring the Lok Sabha adjourned for yet another hour, till 3 pm.

1.55 pm: Rajiv Shukla hits back 

While he might have looked distinctly uncomfortable in the face of the backlash in Rajya Sabha, he found his voice back while giving sound bytes to the media. Reacting to allegations that Congress was hand-in-glove with Pakistan he quipped, "When the Parliament was attacked by terrorists had the government then colluded with Pakistan?"

The Parliament was attacked by terrorists in 2001 when the NDA government headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee was in power. Afzal Guru, who was convicted for masterminding the attacks, was hanged in February 2013.

1:10 pm: The fight you may have missed in Parliament

Unfortunately Rajya Sabha television was on the backburner today thanks to the drama in the Lok Sabha but it turns out we may have missed a prize fight between politicians from the Congress and Samajwadi Party.

It turns out while the House was deciding whether to debate the killing of five soldiers in Kashmir or continue with question hour, the government wanted question hour while the others wanted a debate on the incident.

The Congress' Mani Shankar, in a manner that comes close to condescension, said there were equally serious issues concerning rise in natural gas prices listed for Question Hour and asked SP members if they were not concerned about increase in gas prices.

To this, SP's Naresh Agarwal made an insinuation against Aiyar which was immediately expunged for being unparliamentary.

However, Aiyar wasn't concerned about the Parliamentary record and shouted, "How dare you call me that." before making a dash for the Samajwadi Party MP. In a manner that hinted that he didn't just want to exchange words with Agarwal.

Aiyar was, however, stopped by other members and the showdown was averted.

Other leaders reprimanded Agarwal for his comment but whether the SP MP apologised to Aiyar isn't known.

12.45 pm: BJP fed its own pill, doesn't like how it tastes at all

The BJP attempted to start a healthy discussion in the Lok Sabha again with Yashwant Sinha asking some pertinent questions. With the memory of the beheading of two Indian troops by Pakistan soldiers and Sarabjit Singh's lynching in a Lahore jail still raw in public memory, Sinha hit the right notes.

He attempted to corner the government on a question that is probably bothering the whole country - why are such incidents happening again and again with such frequency? Given that the Prime Minister had sent out a stern message to Pakistan saying 'steps will be taken', Sinha asked what those steps might be, apart from political rhetoric?

However, his questions were first weakened by his own Parliamentary rhetoric that's high on drama, less on consequence.

"Whose hand is the government holding - India or Pakistan's? Who is the government concerned about, India or Pakistan?"

Someone in the BJP chorus added, "Sarkar Pakistan ka dalal hai! (UPA is Pakistan's middleman)." That is how the BJP turned what could have been a no nonsense discussion on the issues plaguing India's borders into yet another political leela that the Indian Parliament is renowned for.

The Congress government, on its part, is probably counting its blessings. First Mulayam dismissed them as 'becharas', then BJP just missed nailing them with some relevant, difficult questions by a whisker.

The moment the BJP leader's speech turned to dramatic metaphors, the Andhra justice seekers who were refuelling, jumped into the chaos and went on their own tangent in the same tone of a kindergarten kid demanding a cookie, least bothered about what else is happening in the world.

Yashwant Sinha, clearly irritated, asked why the Andhra squad launched on their sloganeering without letting him finish.

"What is this? Why have these people started shouting when I stood up to speak?" Clearly, this time, the BJP wants to speak. And faced with the same tactic of dissent they adopted in the last session, they are not liking the idea one little bit!

12.30 pm: China broke Nehru's heart?

"I had been a defence minister myself. I know these people. China, Pakistan are traitors, they can't be trusted at all. Back in the day, Pt Nehru had placed his faith in China. He thought China was India's friend. What did China do? They started a war in 1962. Nehru ji was shattered, he died from the shock," says Mulayam, warning that India is treading the same path again with Pakistan.

China, warned Mulayam in his amazing been-there-done-that tone, has already prepared a map to attack India and they are working on the details. "China and Pakistan can never be trusted. IS our Army weak? No. The government policies are weak. We shouldn't befriend people who kill our soldiers," he added.

12.26 pm: Mulayam the boss, AK Antony the 'bechara'

Watching a 'discussion' unfold in the Lok Sabha one wonders if the Indian parliament served as a template for all Big Brother/Boss/annoying-people-on-house-arrest shows. The session resumes with Meira Kumar reminding the House about the Hiroshima-Nagasaki disasters.

Chaos broke out almost immediately.

But Kumar, this time, was prepared. She announced nothing is being recorded so they should stop hyperventilating.

Defence minister AK Antony made a suo moto statement on Uttarakhand. Antony informed the House about the measures that the government has taken for relife and rehabilitation of Uttarakhand. The members resume the 'we want justice' slogans again when Kumar intervenes and firmly chastises the House. "People have died in Uttarakhand. Show some respect," she said silencing the House.

Or maybe the irony of her repeatedly referring to a bunch of shouting, yelling people as 'honourable' members, hit home and the members shut up?

Mulayam Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party brought up the border security issue in the House. Strangely enough he was not baying for the UPA's blood over the J&K killings. Nor was he ready to hang defence minister AK Antony over the deaths. "Woh nahin bata payenge bechare (he won't be able to answer all these questions poor thing)," he said.

Just when you start wondering why, you realise he is less embarrassed about the know-it-all complex all Indian politicians suffer from and goes on to enlighten the house about the roots of the India-Pak/China problem.

Antony, on his part, smiles impishly, clearly relieved by the SP leader exonerating him.

11.20 am: Rajya Sabha adjourned following uproar over soldier deaths

The Rajya Sabha on the other hand, at least had its priorities sorted out today. Immediately after the House opened, the Opposition MPs cornered the government over the death of the five Indian soldiers in today's LoC violation by Pakistan.

Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajeev Shukla expressed shock and grief at the incident. He was already prepared with his defence. "It is an extremely unfortunate incident. The minister for defence will come and present his statement soon," he tried assuring the House.

However, given how emotions run deep in the Indian parliament when a Pakistan issue crops up,  the Opposition was in no mood to listen to him.

Leader of the opposition Arun Jaitley, visibly angered, said, "The issue has serious defence, security and foreign policy implications. Whoever gives a statement today from the government should be prepared to answer questions, especially about foreign policy."

CPM MP Sitaram Yechury suggested that the Prime Minister make a statement.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP spokesperson, was the most agitated of the lot. "Whoever comes to speak today shouldn't say that he doesn't have his answers ready."

Shukla tried to counter the onslaught in a little voice saying the government is equally worried and the concerned minister will definitely come and speak.

Between defence minister AK Antony and and foreign minister Salman Khurshid, the former is mostly likely to answer the questions of the House. Unless of course, Khurshid is ready to answer some stinging questions about the company he likes to keep while sharing a great plate of biryani!

11:04 am: The 'justice' seekers strike again!

From just how it sounds, the Lok Sabha is uncannily like a Bengali fish market - unrelenting fish vendors versus unrelenting buyers and both firmly believe the other is wrong. The House opens showing senior BJP MPs trying to silence the dissenting Andhra Pradesh MPs to no avail.

Someone tries to remind them that five jawans have been killed in the LoC and that issue need to be discussed, again with no effect on the 'justice seekers'. Talking about irony, these people are actually demanding 'justice' of some sort!

The Lok Sabha, opening on its second day in the Monsoon Session, gives just enough time to speaker Meira Kumar to switch from smile to scowl and back to smile before it is adjourned till 12 pm.



10.04 am: BJP Parliamentary Board meet begins

The parliamentary board meeting of the BJP has started, Times Now reported. With the Food Bill likely to come up in the House tomorrow they are expected to discuss strategy and figure out ways to oppose the ordinance.

9.05 am: MPs demanding Seemandhra and United Andhra to protest again? 

The first day of the Monsoon Session was marred by new state demands and say-no-to-new-state demands. So there were MPs from Assam demanding a separate Bodoland. And there were MPs from Andhra Pradesh demanding both 'justice for Seemandhra' and a 'united Andhra Pradesh'.

While Sharad Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Congress MP P L Punia tried to rustle up a storm accusing ex CJI Altamas Kabir of nurturing a hidden agenda in cancelling caste-based reservations in super-specialty positions in AIIMS. They demanded an amendment be passed overturning the ruling. However, it fell weak in the face of the shouting MPs.

No bill was passed or discussed though 44 bills need to be passed in 16 days. According to reports, keeping in mind that the Food Security Bill is supposed to come up in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Sonia Gandhi had urged all Congress MPs to be present without fail in Parliament today onward.

According to CNN IBN, the Telangana issue will possibly derail the Parliament today again with the MPs showing no sign of giving up. Unless of course the other MPs grow an appetite for bigger debates and out-shout the dissenting MPs.


End of updates from 5 August

2.58 pm: Where shout, therefore we are

The Lok Sabha resumed, again. This time with a new person in the chair - Satpal Maharaj, who warned the now relentless 'justice seekers' that the 'nation is watching' hence they should shut up.

However, the shout fest showed no sigh of abating. The Andhra MPs now launched a sing song chorus, clapping in between to make sure no one gets to talk, no one else is heard.

A lone Bodoland MP in a shiny pink kurta jumped back into action loitering around the House almost like a Yash Raj heroine in a tulip garden, as he let the Seemandhra MPs spend their energies in shouting. The Andhra MPs didn't disappoint, firmly placing themselves in the well and continuously hollering, till the visibly bored chairman adjourned the House for the day.

"The entire nation is watching," he said sagely, before adjourning the session till Tuesday. Given that for a sizable population of our politicians, shouting lends a stronger sense of purpose than say making sure their constituencies have abundant drinking water, the rabble rousing MPs were hell bent on showing the nation what they got - really well-fed vocal chords. Important bills like the Food Bill, the Whistleblower bill and the RTI amendment bill were not discussed and were left for the next day.

2.01 pm: Monsoon lethargy in Lok Sabha?

Who would have thought that it will be the now mothballed Telangana-Seemandhra issue that will hold the Parliament hostage and not the Food Security Bill with its immense potential for political fireworks. Though Sharad Yadav showed where there is a will, there is a way to bulldoze sloganeering, not many seem to have taken cue.

Lok Sabha, seconds after it resumed its proceedings, was adjourned as the Bodoland and Seemandhra MPs continued in their quest for justice. "We want justice for Seemandhra," hollered a bunch of MPs in a sleepy Lok Sabha. The speaker lost no time in giving into the temptation of post-lunch siesta and declare the Parliament adjourned for the next one hour.

One is left wondering what happened to the bigger parties' appetite for mudslinging though. Given that the Seemandhra issue is as good as a damp squib now, it is rather strange that the MPs have been allowed to have their way without being chastised by a Sushma Swaraj or a Lalu Prasad Yadav! We'll blame it on the lethargy inducing weather or good old Monday morning blues...

12.13 pm: Meet the nemesis of slogan trolls: Sharad Yadav

Sharad Yadav of JD(U) shows the sloganeering junta in the Lok Sabha, who's the boss in the Parliament.

Even with the Bodoland MPs shouting and waving banners at his face, he launches a loud attack on the government seeking a transparent and more autonomous Supreme Court. No amount of 'we want justice' howls seem to sway him and like a true blooded Parliamentarian, he launches on his own tirade irrespective of who else is shouting and how loudly.

He brings up the issue of the NEET exam which the Supreme Court scrapped. Yadav questioned how ex-CJI could scrap the NEET exam which affected thousands of students across the country.

Thankfully for the Congress, the House seems more inclined on bringing down the Supreme Court as of now. After criticising Altamas Kabir's decision to scrap the NEET exams, Sharad Yadav brings up another ruling by the SC.

The court last month had ruled against caste-based reservations in special faculty positions in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). A five-judge constitution bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices S S Nijjar, Ranajan Gogoi, M Y Eqbal and Vikramjit Sen had said that in certain positions in institutes like AIIMS, recruitment should be exclusively merit-based and no caste-based reservation will be allowed. The court had been warning against caste-based recruitment in super-specialty levels for some time now.

Caste being the second most powerful tool of politicking after religion in India, the JD(U) and SP find it necessary to protest against the SC decision. A belligerent Sharad Yadav even accused Altamas Kabir of reading out the judgment in the evening when the day's political activities had drawn to an end. "He made the announcement in the evening," a miffed Yadav said. Mulayam Singh joined the chorus demanding the decision be reconsidered and the government intervene.

However, the Bodoland MPs are in no mood for anything that doesn't have to do with their statehood demands. So they keep shouting, leading the Parliament to be adjourned till 2pm again.

12 pm: No country for cricket lovers?

Now this is the cue for cricket and IPL lovers to choke on their lunches alike.

Kumar, possibly in an attempt to bring in a semblance of order in the House, turns to what is considered the most unifying activity in the country - worshipping cricket.

She starts with congratulating the cricket team for winning the Champion's trophy in England and the recent series in Zimbabwe. However, the zesty slogan-mongers are undaunted in their objective to disrupt anything that tries to bring order in the house. Kumar, deserting her chaos-proof smile for a second, scolds the members and asks them to applaud the team.

"Can't you see I am felicitating people. Go back and thump your tables. Go back, shout later," she scolds like a good school headmistress as the slogans die in a whimper for a few minutes.

Strangely enough though, no one thumps his/her table in appreciation of the Indian cricket team's feat.

Soon after Kumar is done with her round of felicitations, the "we want" slogans resume with more energy. Clearly, inside the Indian parliament cricket comes only second in preference to shouting slogans.

11.40 pm: Lok Sabha warms up to UPA bashing

With the loud chorus for separate states delaying the UPA bashing that was to take over Lok Sabha, the house tries warming up to the process. Anurag Singh Thakur, BJP MP from Himachal Pradesh gets the opportunity to start taking potshots at the government. Dissatisfied with the transport and roadways minister's answer to a question, Thakur express his displeasure at the way the Congress-led government has stopped creating highways.

"Atal Behari Vajpayee ji made more highways in the five years NDA was in power than what the Congress has made in the 50 years they have been in power," says Thakur. "Why have they stopped building highways?" he asks.

With the din reaching familiar levels of chaos, Kumar adjourns the House till 12 pm.

11.3o am: The familiar storm after the calm

If there is anything more predictable than an K-serial, it has to be a session in the Indian parliament. Following a full twenty minutes of civil behaviour, both the Houses of the parliament take on their true colour.

As reports of the Rajya Sabha being adjourned trickle in, sloganeering breaks the eerie calm with which the Lok Sabha started off.

A group of MPs from Bodoland turn up near the well of the Lok Sabha waving banners and demanding a separate Bodoland state. Given that both the Congress and the BJP didn't spar over the separation of Telangana, the issue's potential to disrupt the House is being fully exploited by another group of MPs.

11.20 am: Sachin Tendulkar attends Monsoon Session of Rajya Sabha

As Meira Kumar begins the introductory address in the Lok Sabha full of MPs looking distinctly glum, things have taken on a different colour in the Rajya Sabha. After all, what can inject life into any morose thing with more efficacy than cricket in India?

The sight of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, therefore, entering the Rajya Sabha to attend the monsoon session lends colour to the proceedings of the upper house of the Parliament.


11.10am: Monsoon Session takes off

The Monsoon session of the Parliament takes off with a misleading sense of calm and the entry of speaker Meira Kumar who seems inexplicably pleased. The Prime Minister introduces new entrants to the cabinet to loud cheers from the UPA MPs.

10.00 am: Willing to extend Parliament session to pass key bills, says govt

Minister of Parliamentary affairs Kamal Nath has said that the Monsoon session of Parliament will be extended if need be, in order to pass key legislation.

The UPA is hoping to pass as many as 44 bills, but has just 16 working days in which to do so. Key among these bills are the food security bill, the RTI amendment bill and the pension and insurance reforms bill.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "it is my sincere hope that this session is truly productive. We wasted a lot of time in the last session, which I hope will not be repeated this session"

He appealed to the opposition to cooperate with the government, saying that the government was willing to discuss all issues on the floor of the house.

9.00 am: BJP's credibility at stake, says Digvijaya

Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh on Monday morning took  a dig at the BJP tweeting that  their credibility was at stake if they did not allow Parliament to function.

 8.30 am: Can UPA pass 44 bills in 16 days?

The Monsoon session of Parliament which will begin shortly, is likely to be a stormy affair with the main opposition party BJP seeking to raise key issues in the House.

The Monsoon session has 44 bills listed but will have only 16 working days in which to pass them. Among the key bills the government is hopeful of passing is the UPA government’s flagship programme, the Food Security bill.

The bill aims to give legal rights to 67 percent of the population over a uniform quantity of 5 kg foodgrains at a fixed price of Rs 1-3 per kg through ration shops.

With elections in Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh barely three months away, the Congress hopes the Food bill will serve as a major vote-getter.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for a “constructive and productive” session and sought support from all parties.

The Monsoon session of Parliament will run from 5- 30 August.

While the BJP has said it will ensure a smooth functioning of Parliament this session, it will raise issues like the Telangana statehood, Food Security Bill, fall in value of rupee and the Uttarakhand floods among others. The BJP has also decided to raise the issue of confrontation between the CBI and the IB and its implications on the country’s security.

The two central agencies had recently been on loggerheads on the Ishrat Jahan encounter case in Gujarat.

At a strategy meeting chaired by senior party leader LK Advani, the party decided to seek amendments in the Food Bill saying several concerns had to be addressed before its passage, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters in New Delhi.

“In principle, we are in agreement with this (Food) Bill, but we have a lot to say. There is a Chhattisgarh model, then there is the interest of the farmers…we have to put in a lot of suggestions, amendments,” he said.

The government, however, may lose support from the Samajwadi Party. SP leader Naresh Agarwal made it clear the bill in its present form was not acceptable and required certain amendments and that if need be the party will vote against it.

“If need be, we will vote against the bill,” he said.

The SP, which supports the government from the outside, has 22 members in Lok Sabha and its backing is vital for the passage of the bill.

He ruled out that the party’s stand on the food bill had anything to do with Congress President Sonia Gandhi‘s letter on suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal by the Uttar Pradesh government.

With regard to the key financial bills pending in Parliament, the BJP agreed to support routine and necessary financial business but indicated that the party will continue to oppose further opening of the insurance and pension sectors to foreign direct investment (FDI).

On Sunday Finance Minister P Chidambaram met Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj for support to key reform bills on opening up the insurance and pension sector, but failed to get any assurance.

Among the key bills the government seeks to consider and pass in Parliament are:

The National Food Security (Second) Bill, 2013 (to replace the ordinance)
The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, 2011
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011
The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2013
The Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Bill, 2013

Updated Date: Aug 06, 2013 19:36 PM

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