The main Opposition BJP has gone for the UPA’s jugular in Parliament, and is unlikely to loosen its stranglehold on
the UPA government when the House resumes its session on Monday. And those in the government who are working the back channels with the Opposition for clinching a compromise formula are unlikely to meet with any success in this regard. So hardened is the saffron stand that there is little scope for a compromise on the issue. When Parliament reconvenes on Monday, the BJP is unlikely to back down from its demand for the PM’s resignation which the Congress finds quite “preposterous.”
However, the BJP has retaliated saying, “Why would we ask the PM’s resignation, if we were to look for a way out, a week later? We will continue with our campaign.”
Every morning at 10 am sharp, the BJP core team that includes Sushma Swaraj, Arun
Jaitley and Yashwant Sihna, have been brainstorming for the past week in Advani’s Parliamentary Party office on how best to continue to keep the heat on the ruling UPA. By launching a high-octave onslaught on the issue, those who said that the BJP had squandered previous opportunities to put the UPA on the mat feel that the party has reclaimed the Opposition space.
Till a few weeks ago, the BJP was singing a chorus for civil rights groups and the regional parties. Ironically, a byproduct of this political aggression is competition within the BJP to prove who is the loudest of them all, and earlier accusations that senior leaders like Advani and Jaitley were sympathetic to the Congress in the House would be forgotten.
The bad news for the UPA is that in place of a middle ground that could break the logjam over the CAG report on coal block allocation, an abyss now stares the government in the face. And the good news for the BJP is that its ambitious political outreach programme which saw Sushma giving Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal a run for his money is indeed working.
There would few Opposition leaders that she has not spoken to, in the past five days. NDA convener and JD-U leader Sharad Yadav too has done his bit to bring other Opposition parties on board.
It may not have had the desired effect, but it has helped Sushma emerge as a counter force to the government. So much so, that CPM leader Sitaram Yechury was heard saying, “If the leader of Opposition invites us for an all-party meeting, how can we say no? Just the way we do not turn down the PM’s invitation.”
It is another matter that the Opposition consolidation did not last long, with Minister of State, Parliamentary Affairs, Rajiv Shukla, wooing Samjawadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav (by the extension, the Left) back into the UPA fold with the promise of a carrot. This was, as expected, the outcome of the late night intervention from Shukla’s side.