NEW DELHI: For the Congress, the offensive comments made by junior minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti may have come as an opportunity to embarrass the government.
The Congress MPs on Thursday disrupted the proceedings of the House for the third successive day but the government is determined to push ahead with its legislative agenda, if the impasse were to continue.
Government sources said both the Houses are likely to be disrupted on Friday also. The government hopes that the Opposition parties allow it to run the House, at least the Rajya Sabha, on Monday. The BJP-NDA Government needs the support of the Opposition parties in the Upper House to pass key legislation. Sources said that Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu was engaging with the Congress for the smooth functioning of the House.
As demanded by the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made a statement in the Rajya Sabha and asked the veteran leaders to cooperate in running the House. However, the Congress continued with its protests even after the Modi’s statement.
If needed, the government is planning to move the Bills in the House amid din.
In the business advisory meeting, the government has decided to bring the Coal Mines, Payment and Settlement Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday to replace the Ordinance that would facilitate the auctioning of coal mines. Even demands for grants and other economic agenda will be taken up next week.
The other Bills lined up, include two specific Bills on evictions and hotel rent control. The government has even agreed to hold discussion on MNREGA, drug pricing, and fishermen issues as demanded by the various political parties. The government will also bring the GST Bill during the ongoing session.
Venkaiah even went to the extent of not passing the Bill on repealing obsolete Acts, as he wanted the Congress to return to the Lok Sabha on Friday and participate in discussions and then the Bill can be put to voting.
Later, Venkaiah told reporters that the Congress was protesting as it was yet to become reconciled to the fact that the party was no longer in power.
“When she(Jyoti) expressed regret, the Opposition were not ready to accept it. What is the agenda? They are worried and disturbed because she has a strong social base,” Venkaiah said.
The Congress seems to have taken a leaf out of the then Opposition BJP, which refused to let the House to function during the UPA tenure.