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Congress claims AIADMK support on Insurance Bill, Centre calls all-party meet

Aug 05, 2014 05:28 PM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: Trouble is growing for the Narendra Modi government over the Insurance Laws Amendment Bill as the Congress on Tuesday claimed that it has the support of AIADMK.

To tide over the crisis the government has called all-party meet on Wednesday at 9:30 AM to discuss the Bill.

The Congress demanded that the Bill be sent to the Select Committee. The party also questoned why the NDA government was in great hurry and asked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to remember his own words and his party's attitude.

The Congress said that the reference to the Select Committee was not opposition to the bill.

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said, "Changes can be made by a House Committee. Individual changes cannot be made to a Bill which is part of the process of legislative business. It's a legitimate demand of the Opposition for a Select Committee to look into the changes to the Bill."

Earlier in the day, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi rejected Jaitley's charges and said that there are no double standards by the Congress on the Insurance Bill.

Rahul's statement came a day after Jaitley said that the government had given the Congress three options - to either approve, reject or amend the Bill on the floor of the House but not delay it. Jaitley said that he hoped that higher counsel prevails in the Congress as he had borrowed former finance minister P Chidambaram's words in the Insurance Bill.

"We exactly borrowed Chidambaram's language. We have given three options to the Congress on the Insurance Bill," he said.

The Bill proposes to raise the FDI cap in the insurance sector from the present 26 per cent to 49 per cent. It was first proposed by the Congress-led UPA government and a total of 86 amendments were proposed. The BJP government is in a minority in the Rajya Sabha and needs the Congress's help to pass the Bill.