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Spare a day for anti-graft, welfare bills: Rahul urges parties

Posted on Feb 17 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 17 : Assuring activists that the government will try its best to get anti-graft and social welfare bills passed during the current session of parliament, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Monday urged political parties to spare a day for the purpose.

Interacting with activists and members of NGOs at the Congress party office here, Gandhi said legislations, including the bills on street vendors and on disability rights, were aimed at benefiting people.

"I am standing with you (non-governmental organisations and activists)... The issue is that parliament should function... Whatever power we have, we will use it," Gandhi told the activists, who were demanding passage of these bills at the earliest.

Asked by an NGO worker how they could help him in getting the bills passed, Gandhi said they should continue mobilising public opinion. "Do it the way you are doing, help us like that."

When another worker told Gandhi that their protests faced the water cannon from the police, he quipped: "Make me sit (with you)."

Responding to Nikhil Dey, an anti-corruption activist, who said activists would not leave the issues hanging, Gandhi said: "I will also not leave the issue."

"I want to say to other parties, take out a day and help us in getting the bills passed. If we are together, only then the bills can be passed. (We) need your support," Gandhi said.

"These are important bills for India and I think we should do a favour to this country and push these bills," the Congress vice president added.

Dey said the bills for which they are seeking support included the Grievance Redressal Bill, Whistleblower Protection Bill, Disability Rights Bill and Street Vendors Bill.

He said the activists also wanted the act relating to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to be strengthened.

Dey said the activists would also meet Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Monday to seek their support on the bills.

The second part of the winter session of parliament has seen repeated disruptions over the move to create Telangana. The session, which began Feb 5, would end Feb 21.

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