NEW DELHI: Neither the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper bribery deal issue nor the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand will die down in a jiffy, but behind-the-scene negotiations between top BJP ministers and the Opposition Congress leaders ensured the Rajya Sabha functioned after the initial fracas on Thursday.
Both sides withdrew notices — given by BJP’s Subramanian Swamy and the Congress’ Pramod Tewari — for a short discussion in the Upper House on the VVIP chopper scam.
Earlier, BJP parliamentary managers had said they had enough material to put the Opposition party, particularly the Congress leadership, on the mat. As a quid pro quo, the Congress did not raise the issue of imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand in the Upper House.
It agreed not to demand a discussion on the “sub-judice’’ matter, which was a change of stance. It could be noted here that the Congress had refused to allow the House function over the Uttarakhand crisis, treating the discussion on the prevailing drought situation as an exception.
In fact, ever since the session resumed, Congress members have been shouting slogans in the Well of the House calling the sacking of the Harish Rawat government as “unconstitutional’’. On Thursday, as on Wednesday, the fracas in the Upper House was over Swamy’s remarks.
In the morning, at a meeting of Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari, attended by leaders of all parties, sources said, both sides withdrew notices on the chopper deal after Congress leaders Anand Sharma and S Natchiappan objected saying, “It will lead to an uproar in the House and no legislative work can be done thereafter.’’