NEW DELHI: The word ‘stormy’ is often used in the context of a Parliament session and the Monsoon Session beginning July 21 could see it in ample measure.
More so in the backdrop of the Lalit Modi controversy, as the session is likely to become a hostage of the ongoing tussle between the NDA Government and Opposition, the Congress in particular.
Brushing aside such a possibility, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said he does not think that disruptions, likely to be caused by the Opposition, could lead to a logjam of the entire session. He added a tad sarcastically that those holding out the threat were relevant to TV channels, but not governance.
“How the Monsoon Session runs will depend on the government’s attitude towards the Opposition’s demands,” Congress leader P C Chacko shot back.
Jaitley’s hint was that not all the parties clubbed under the broad umbrella of Opposition may be willing to join the Congress, Left and JD(U) to hold up the session seeking resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in connection with Lalit’s revelations. The TMC, BJD and most importantly AIADMK, which has substantial numbers, would not make a common cause with the Congress-Left-JD(U).
Taking a swipe at Jaitley’s remark that the Lalit saga was an issue with the media and not a politically relevant one, Chacko said, “The government’s no response to the Lalit scandal proves that it has zero tolerance towards probity, accountability and propriety in public life.”
Off the record, senior Congress netas admit that the party does not expect the PM to take any action against tainted ministers.
The fate of two crucial reform bills -- the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill and Land Acquisition Bill -- pushed by the NDA Government is also hanging in balance. The Congress, however, retorted that the government should first declare who was the original author of GST. Chacko asserted that the Congress was not ready for any compromise on the Land Acquisition Bill.