No double standards by Cong on Insurance Bill: Rahul Gandhi

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Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today rejected BJP's charge that the party is doing a 'U-turn' on the Insurance Bill, saying that there are "no double standards" by it on the issue.

"I think, there are no double standards on the Insurance Bill by the Congress," Gandhi told reporters in Parliament House.

The opposition party has kept the government guessing on the crucial bill asking it to take on board all stakeholders and favouring the Select Committee route even as it insisted that the measure is its own "baby" and it is a "misnomer" that the party is opposed to it.

The controversial Insurance Bill, which was listed in Rajya Sabha yesterday, was deferred for consideration for the time being after a meeting of the government with opposition leaders failed to break the deadlock in the face of the demand to send it to a Select Committee.

The meeting, convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu yesterday, could not iron out differences with the opposition despite Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's plea that the current bill has virtually the same language and content as the previous bill of the Congress-led UPA.

"We are totally in favour of FDI. It is our baby and it was the BJP which was opposed to the bill in 2008. We were given to understand that our bill is going to be passed in the House. But the NDA government has made some substantive amendments to the bill.

"We have recommended that the substantive issues like the FDI, which have been diluted by the FII, along with other issues should be discussed, examined dispassionately and objectively by the Select Committee. The bill can be passed in the Winter Session and we will ensure its passage," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad had said yesterday.

Rejecting suggestions that it was doing a "flip-flop" on the Insurance Bill issue, party spokesperson Randip Surjewala had said, "If investments of lakhs of people are going to be jeopardised, then the necessary balancing has to be done."

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