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All options open: Manmohan

Special Correspondent

"No explicit decision to introduce an ordinance"

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said "all options" were open on promulgating an ordinance on redefining the term "office of profit."

Speaking to correspondents at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on the sidelines of a function, he said: "There is no explicit decision as of now [on bringing an ordinance]. We have not considered the ordinance. All options are open. We will discuss it with other political parties."

The Government would strive to have the "widest-possible consensus" among parties on the issue.

Asked whether others charged with holding offices of profit should take a hint from the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi's resignation from the Lok Sabha, he said: "I do not know." He gave a similar reply when asked about Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

Asked why Parliament was adjourned abruptly, he said all parties wanted to campaign for the coming Assembly elections.

Dr. Singh said Ms. Gandhi's resignation proved that she was the tallest leader in the country.

She had shown "a rare commitment" to moral values, which "you do not find in plenty in our country."

The Prime Minister met President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and apprised him of the current developments, says a Rashtrapati Bhavan press release.

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