K.V. Prasad

Consultations on office of profit almost complete: Dasmunsi

Bring forward a Bill: Sharad YadavGovernment not for ordinance: PranabLeft favours comprehensive Bill

NEW DELHI: The Government on Sunday continued consultations on the issue of office of profit, with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi meeting Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav and establishing contact with others.

"The process is almost complete. I have held consultations with all parties, barring three, and will submit my report to the Prime Minister on Monday after speaking to the rest," Mr. Dasmunsi told The Hindu .

While there was consensus that the law be amended, most parties, barring the Bharatiya Janata Party, felt that an all-party meet should be convened. The Government is considering whether to amend the definition of office of profit under the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959, or bring in a fresh Bill.

The majority view also favoured that Parliament and not the Election Commission be given the right to determine what constitutes an office of profit, Mr. Dasmunsi said.

"We are in favour of discussing the issue with all parties. But I can tell you that the Government has no intention of bringing an Ordinance on the issue," Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee was quoted by news agencies as saying in Kolkata.

In New Delhi, Mr. Sharad Yadav suggested that since all parties were for a change in the law, the Government bring forward a Bill. However, the power to determine the office of profit should remain with Parliament, which has a Joint Committee to look into it, he said.

The Left parties favoured a comprehensive Bill before Parliament. Abani Roy (RSP) favoured an all-party meet.

Mr. Dasmunsi also spoke to Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party leader K. Yerran Naidu, who said the Government should reconvene Parliament. The TDP felt an all-party meeting would be beneficial.

Union Minister Prem Chand Gupta of the Rashtriya Janata Dal suggested that a Bill be brought forward. He said the BJP-led Opposition now favoured legislation, since its Governments in the States were affected.

Telangana Rashtra Samiti MP B. Vinod Kumar said he had written to the Law Commission to identify laws needing review and those requiring amendments.

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