NEW DELHI: Congress is under a lot of pressure in Rajya Sabha from its allies and other like-minded parties, who are resorting to arm twisting and making the grand old party follow their stand on common issues, to keep the flock together after the TMC decided to part ways.
Congress has the second-highest number of MPs in Rajya Sabha after BJP. The party has been treading cautiously to ensure taking along all parties together to corner the government over people-related issues, after TMC chose to become an “autonomous Opposition”.
Suspension of 12 Opposition MPs in Rajya Sabha saw Congress bow down to the demands of its allies and other like-minded parties to continue with protests inside the House. After some feelers from senior BJP MPs in the Upper House that the matter be resolved soon, Congress’s chief whip in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh convinced Opposition floor leaders to participate in legislative business, with the House passing the Dam Safety Bill on December 2.
However, the government did not blink and that “upset suspended MPs from other parties” who expressed anguish over Opposition MPs participating in discussions while they continue to sit outside over the government’s decision.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, who has been suspended, aligned with other suspended MPs — TMC’s Dola Sen and Shanta Chhetri and Left MPs Binoy Vishwam and Elamaram Kareem — to take a hard stand and efforts by Ramesh to reach out to each of these suspended MPs and floor leaders of their parties did not help.