NEW DELHI: Before Speaker Sumitra Mahajan suspended 25 agitating Congress MPs from the Lok Sabha, the government tried to resolve the deadlock by calling an all-party meeting, but in vain.
The Congress stuck to its demand of resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chief Ministers Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Some of the opposition parties, though, had favoured functioning of the House.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi set the tone for the party’s continued belligerence during the meeting. While the TMC, DMK and BJD expressed desire for functioning of the House, JD(U) and Left parties backed the Congress in the meeting. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu had said that the Opposition should be allowed discussion on any topic they wanted, during which the minister concerned would reply, and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi, if requested, would intervene.
Emerging from the meeting, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, ”Outcome of the meeting is nil, we stand by our demand. The government wants to be the king and they expect the Opposition to behave like the subjects. Such things do not work in a democracy.”
CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said the government had come without any proposal.