Though yet another day of the Budget session was lost to disruptions, the government on Friday ruled out sine die adjournment of Parliament before May 10, the scheduled last day of the session, and indicated it was determined to pass the Food Security and Land Acquisition Bills.
Accusing the main Opposition Party of playing politics, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said on Friday, “Most political parties which I talk to want the House to run. It is only one political party which is creating disturbance, denying other parties which are not even our allies or supporting parties an opportunity to discuss and debate issues in the House.”
Talking to the media outside Parliament after the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day, Nath went on to add that he would, despite the daily disruptions and demands of the Prime Minister’s resignation by the BJP, “make sure that important legislation is passed before the end of session.” The two key legislations that the government is desperately want to pass - the National Food Security Bill and the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill - are central to the Congress’ political-electoral agenda.
Often termed Sonia Gandhi’s pet project, the government tried to pass the Food Bill in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, but only managed to introduce it in the din. The BJP leaders, however, retorted that they too want Parliament to run but “the government’s intentions can be questioned”.
A senior BJP leader taking a critical view of the government’s parliamentary management said that “as long as President Pranab Mukherjee was here (as leader of the Lok Sabha) it was different story.
He would reach out whenever we had some disagreement (with the government). The current dispensation has not bothered to talk to us - they think they can run the house ignoring the main Opposition Party.”
The BJP leader also said “ever since (the UPA Chairperson) Sonia Gandhi directly took charge, Parliament has been reduced to a battleground - we were not elected to help them do their political gimmickry.” Senior Congress leaders did not disagree that “it is a political tussle now” as “the pending bills are not mere legislative business of the government, but are political game-changers for the (Congress) party.”
This being the context, the government is preparing for the worst case scenario.