NEW DELHI: Bracing for an Opposition onslaught on Lalit Modi controversy, Vyapam scam and other issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a maiden meet of all NDA constituents on the eve of the Monsoon session of Parliament to work out a strategy to counter the opposition.
The meeting assumes significance as main opposition Congress and the Left have stacked up ammunition on several issues including the Vyapam scam and the Lalit Modi row involving a host of senior BJP leaders, to target the government.
This is the first time Modi has called a meet of the ruling alliance since he stormed to power in May 2014.
Sensing the opposition heat awaiting his government in Parliament, Modi had acknowledged yesterday that there will be a 'muqabla' (contest). "We are all sitting here (including Ghulam Nabi Azad), but just wait to see the 'muqabla' (contest) we will have in some days"," he had said at an event in Jammu where the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha was also present.
Shiv Sena, which is the largest BJP ally, has been demanding a meeting of NDA constituents. Party leader in the Rajya Sabha Sanjay Raut expressed happiness over Modi's decision, saying it would help the alliance chalk out a ollective strategy to ward off the opposition challenge.
While the BJP-led NDA commands a sizeable majority in the Lok Sabha, it lacks numbers in the Upper House where opposition Congress is the largest party and holds the key to passage of key legislations, including GST and land bill. Meanwhile, all-party meetings by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan have also been conevened on Monday to help in the smooth conduct of Parliament.
Congress led by its vice president Rahul Gandhi has made its intentions clear asserting that it would raise the Lalit Modi controversy and Vyapam scam besides a number of other contentious issues in the upcoming Parliament session.
It has accused Modi of maintaining silence over these burning issues despite his proclamations of zero tolerance against corruption. Congress had recently accused Modi of having a "deep nexus" with former IPL boss Lalit Modi and bluntly told the government that there was no way out other than the resignation of External Affairs inister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for "saving" the Monsoon session.
It is also demanding the resignation of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for accepting "favours" from a Vyapam scam accused. Congress has also targeted HRD Minister Smriti Irani, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Maharashtra Minister Pankaja Munde over a host of issues which it will raise in Parliament.