The UPA government could take the ordinance route if the six anti-corruption bills are not passed in the Winter Session of Parliament scheduled to conclude on Friday, the Congress indicated on Thursday, even as it hinted at the possibility of an extension of the session to clear them.

Making a strong pitch for the passage of the bills, party spokesperson Shashi Tharoor said failure to do so would be a “setback to the nation” and, therefore, all options would have to be examined to bring them into effect through other routes, including the ordinance route.

“So far, there has been no agreement on extending Parliament,” Mr. Tharoor said, “and, therefore, if Parliament does end tomorrow without the Bills being passed, I would not hesitate to say it is a setback for the nation, not a setback for our party because we do not consider it a party issue.” If the bills were not passed, all options would have to be examined and “we are not ruling out the possibility of trying to get these out there through other routes, obviously through an ordinance.”

Mr. Tharoor, however, stressed that while he did not wish “to overstate that” because this was a decision yet to be taken, “the message should go to the nation that these are the steps that we have, with a great deal of thought, concluded are necessary for the interests of the Indian people.”

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