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Stormy start to Indian parliament's last session before election

Published on Feb 5, 2014 4:45 PM

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India's parliament opened its last session before a general election on Wednesday only to adjourn after a few hours of rowdy debate over the creation of a new state, with the pressing issue of corruption pushed into the background.

The session, which will go through to Feb 21, is seen as a final chance for the ruling Congress Party to convince voters it is taking action on graft and to showcase the resolve of leader Rahul Gandhi.

After 10 years in power, the popularity of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), led by Congress, has sagged in large part over a series of graft scandals as well as its inability to halt a slide in the economy.

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) calls it a lame duck government that is merely making a last-ditch attempt to shore up support. It should leave decisions to the next government, BJP leaders say.

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