NEW DELHI: Bracing itself for a stormy Monsoon session with Opposition closing ranks on several issues, Government has decided to go on the offensive to counter attack on issues including Vyapam scandal,'Lalitgate', black money and the latest socio economic caste census (SECC).
The strategy is expected to be finalised before an all party meeting to be held on July 20, a day before the three- week session begins. The Monsoon session begins on July 21 and ends on August 13.
Government sources said at the last meeting of Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs on June 24, it was decided to battle out the controversies on the floor of the House and a conscious decision was taken not to shorten the Monsoon session.
After discussions in the meeting on pros and cons of reducing the session duration, it was felt that the ruling dispensation should not be appearing to be on the backfoot from the very outset.
The possibility of increasing the session for a week if required later was also discussed during the meeting.
The sources said that the contentious Land Bill may not be taken up during this session because the Government is on a sticky wicket after allies and RSS affiliates raised objections on several of its provisions.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh's earlier assertion that the ministers of NDA government do not have to resign indicate that the government does not want to be seen as buckling under pressure and hence it will strongly defend its leaders including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who are under attack, sources said.
On Vyapam, Chouhan seeking a CBI probe is also part of the strategy to blunt the Opposition attack, they said.
Senior BJP leaders, who will be fielded from the government side to counter the Opposition attack could argue that appointments were made by the previous Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh in an "arbitrary" manner and it was the Chouhan government, which decided in 2007 to do away with arbitrary procedures and introduced a "transparent" mechanism for recruitment. The BJP leaders are also likely to argue that out of 3.5 lakh appointments made in the Shivraj government tenure, only 228 are under the scanner and are already being probed.
The ruling party is also expected to take on the Congress over its accusation that Chouhan's wife got jobs for 17 of her relatives from Gondia (in Maharashtra) in the state transport department. This has turned out to be untrue, the cources claimed.
Chouhan, who is under sustained Opposition attack, has contended that it was he who had set up a Committee to look into irregularities in admission and recruitments in 2009, which submitted its report in 2011 and that it was the MP government which formed a Special Task Force (STF) to investigate the scam in 2012.
With SECC findings projecting a very grim picture of the rural India, Congress has mounted an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of having "contempt for the poor" and alleging that the "suit book ki sarkar" is only focused on the rich. The party is also planning to raise it in the session.
The Government line is that the census findings showed the "misplaced" priorities during successive Congress regimes.
"During ten years of UPA, its policy makers were frequently releasing datas to claim that poverty has come down. The SECC brings out in detail the condition of the poor. It is Congress, which has ruled for most of the time since independence. "They have to answer more on this. We will strongly counter the Congress criticism of Government on SECC issues," the sources said.