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Monsoon session of Parliament set for washout as BJP remains adamant

PTI 03 Sep 2012, 20:19:57 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Aug 26: The remaining part of the Monsoon Session of Parliament looks set for a washout with BJP adamant on resignation of the Prime Minister, though it stands isolated among opposition parties, many of whom favour a debate instead of disruption.



Within NDA too, crucial constituent JD-U is uneasy with BJP's stiff stand due to which Parliament has already lost one full week.

BJP sources said the party will not give up its stand on seeking Manmohan Singh's resignation and will not allow Parliament to function even if has to stand alone.

The party has convened a meeting of its leaders tomorrow to chalk out further strategy.

Earlier, an NDA meeting was planned tomorrow but since BJP sensed that all allies were not on board it did not go ahead with the proposed meeting.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj also sought to rope in support of other opposition parties including the Left on its demand for Singh's resignation and disruption of Parliament but failed.

Confirming this, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta criticised the BJP for its stiff stand and for stalling Parliament and said it was “unfortunate” as it “undermined” Parliamentary democracy and weakened the national unity against corruption.

Other opposition parties like TDP and BJD are also not in favour of going with BJP on its stand. SP and BSP too want a discussion rather disruption.

The government wants Parliament to function so that the Prime Minister could make a statement. But if Parliament fails to function, the Prime Minister could send out a message to the country through a televised address or use some other opportunity to clarify through the media his stand on the CAG report on coal block allocation.

The Prime Minister is also geared up to rebut the charges, contending that there were “inaccuracies” in the “misleading” assessment of loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore. In a six-point response, which he is unable to present in Parliament due to stalemate caused by the Opposition, he would be citing that Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Odisha and Jharkhand,all ruled by non-UPA governments, had opposed in 2005 the Centre's move to bring a legislation on auction process.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy admitted that party leader Sushma Swaraj had talked to various opposition leaders for their support in unitedly seeking the Prime Minister's resignation.

“As leader of the principal opposition party, it is her duty to seek support of various political parties in putting up a united fight against corruption,” Rudy said.

On whether Parliament will function, he said, “We will see tomorrow. But this fight against corruption will not be allowed to be weakened.”

Another senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said, “We are seeking the resignation because if A Raja had to go because he signed the 2G spectrum allocation, if Dayanidi Maran had to go because of his role, here is the PM, as a coal minister, has signed each and every allotment. Every minister who resigns has a right to explain, so the moment he resigns he can explain.”
On Parliament logjam, he said, “All parties are definitely worried about the situation. We all will meet, let us see...”

Yet another BJP leader and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha rejected Congress attempts to shift the blame on BJP-ruled state governments on the coal block allocation issue and offered readiness to face a CBI probe if any of its governments' recommendations turned out to be malafide.

Demanding the Prime Minister's resignation on grounds of moral responsibility and constitutional accountability, he defended the party's strategy of obstructing Parliament.

“There is a criminal liability and there is a moral constitutional accountability. What we are demanding today of the Prime Minister is to resign on the issue of morality, on the issue of accountability,” Sinha said.

Dasgupta earlier said Swaraj had called up to convey BJP's decision of stalling the remaining part of the Monsoon Session and seeking support of the Left parties, which are likely to take up a common stand on the issue.