NEW DELHI: The BJP is bracing up to the prospects of the Monsoon session of Parliament—which is commencing from Monday and will conclude on August 11—turning into a countdown for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP has sounded its key Parliamentarians of the likelihood of the Opposition forcing a washout of the session in both the Houses. The Presidential and Vice Presidential elections will also be held during the session.
Even while the NDA government has been successful to get the Opposition on-board on the issue of the ongoing border standoff with China, the floor managers of the saffron alliance have readied its arsenals to counter confrontation on issues, which include roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), incidences of lynching by cow-vigilantes and agrarian distress as seen in the Mandasaur violence.
“The initial pains of the GST rollout are being sought to be exploited by the Opposition parties. Within the government, there has been hectic orientation going on with key departments to sensitise them about the impact of GST on their concerns, including the dairy, agriculture and pharmaceuticals. The anomalies in the rollout need to be addressed on priority,” said a senior BJP leader.
But what is keeping the ruling NDA on its toes is the apprehension that the Opposition will enforce a “lock-down” of the two Houses on the issue of lynching. “There have been spurts in incidences of lynching in the recent times. The notification of rules for prevention of cruelty has emerged as ill-advised. The BJP is ready for debate on the issue in both the Houses, but the Opposition may put such a condition which would not be acceptable to the government,” said a key NDA floor manager in the Parliament.
The government is also gearing up to face the Opposition onslaught on the issue of agrarian distress and increasing incidences of farmers committing suicides. “The Opposition is clearly sensing that the government is on the weaker side following the violent Mandasaur farmers’ agitation. Since Madhya Pradesh will go to the Assembly polls, the Congress will not let go the opportunity to paralyse the Rajya Sabha,” said a senior BJP functionary.