New Delhi, Nov 30: With the opposition toughening its stand on foreign equity in retail and parliament held up for the seventh successive day, the Congress core group met for the second time Wednesday on the issue, but failed to evolve a way out of the impasse, sources said.
Top leaders of the Congress, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi, met Wednesday evening again to discuss how to resolve the parliament logjam.
The meeting was held at the prime minister’s 7, Race Course Road official residence.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and political secretary to the Congress president Ahmed Patel were present as well as union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
Besides the Foreign Direct Investment issue, they also discussed the Lokpal Bill, which is slated to be introduced in the winter session.
Singhvi is the head of the parliamentary panel studying the Lokpal bill drafts.
The Congress core group resolved that the government will not go back on the cabinet decision to allow 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail, that has invited criticism from the opposition as well as some of the ruling UPA’s allies.
However, the core group failed to find a way to resolve the parliament impasse. The winter session, that began Nov 22 has seen virtually no business transacted with opposition stalling it with protests on several issues, including on the Lokpal bill, the 2G scam and now FDI.
‘No decision was taken,’ Ahmed Patel said. The core group meeting ended at around 9 p.m.