NEW DELHI: The coming week of the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament is hinged not on legislative business, but on a ‘resolution’.
The government till now has refused to adopt one that would become a formal admonition of all hate-speech makers, without naming junior minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, but the Opposition is equally adamant.
How the next few days will pan out depends on which side can spring the surprise.
The trouble-shooters of the BJP-NDA Government, particularly Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, are of the view that the Opposition parties have “unnecessarily” raised the stakes and helping them climb down is not the government’s job.
The nine Opposition parties, which on Friday had issued a joint statement seeking a Parliamentary resolution,on Saturday offered to adopt Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha on the issue as the text of the resolution.
This the government’s negotiators see as a “desperate” attempt to wriggle out of a tricky situation.
Jyoti’s “rural background”, as underlined by the PM in both the Houses, is also seen by Jaitley as the government’s trump card. “If they (the Opposition) rub in the point against her too much, it will boomerang on them,” Venkaiah said.
On the political front, the BJP had a protest rally in Delhi organised by her caste group, Nishad-Mallah Samaj, in Delhi. Though not exactly Dalits, they’re a sizeable vote bank in both Bihar and UP.
“Jyoti is from the same caste as Phoolan Devi (Chambal dacoit-turned-slain MP). Mulayam Singh Yadav should see this as a wake-up call,” a senior BJP leader told Express, hinting how the community has shifted its allegiance from the SP to the BJP, in the last election. This will consolidate the votes, he added.
The protest, if snowballs, the BJP feels, will certainly bring about cracks in the Opposition unity in the Rajya Sabha, where the government is a minority.