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Parliament session extension opposed by MPs

New Delhi, Dec 21 (): Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal moved the Chair in both the Houses of Parliament to have three additional sittings from December 27 to 29 instead of concluding the winter session on Thursday to ensure the passage of the Lokpal Bill after proper discussion.

Bansal told reporters that some MPs had objected to the extension of the winter session beyond Christmas holidays and the plan would be reviewed in a Business Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday.

Earlier, the Winter Session was extended till December 29 to pass the anti-graft law and other important bills.

The government had taken this decision to keep the promise made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in August that the Lokpal Bill will be passed in the Winter Session.

The move to extend the session was unanimously passed in the business advisory committee meeting Monday but is now being opposed by Shiv Sena and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) members.

The BSP and the Shiv Sena want the government to have the bills passed by Thursday or at the most, extend the session by one day. This would mean that the houses will sit on Friday to debate and pass the bills.

Official sources said that the Lokpal bill was likely to be tabled in Parliament on Dec 27.

The senior minister said the session would be extended and the government would try to convince the opposing MPs.

The houses would sit Dec 27-29 after MPs return from a Christmas break from Dec 23. The 21-day-long winter session was originally scheduled to end Dec 22.

A separate mechanism for dealing with corruption in Group C and D is also being evolved.

The government has been racing against time to firm up the anti-graft Bill in view of the looming threat of Anna Hazare to go on hunger strike from December 27 if Parliament fails to pass a strong Lokpal Bill.

But a senior minister told that despite the opposition, the government would go ahead with the extension of the winter session by three days from Dec 27.