Confrontation escalates ahead of winter session

In a sudden move, the BJP-led NDA met this evening and decided to boycott Chidambaram and not allow him to speak in Parliament holding him also responsible for the 2G scam. They demanded his resignation and asked the Prime Minister to ensure his exit from the Council of Ministers.

The decision on Chidambaram would be a repeat of what the Congress did to George Fernandes, who returned to the Cabinet of Atal Behari Vajpayee even when a Commission was enquiring into the Tehelka Arms expose issue on fake arms deals in 2001.

On the opening day of the month-long session tomorrow, the Left parties are planning to move an adjournment motion on the issue of price rise to which the NDA has declared support.

Adding to government's discomfiture, there could be floor coordination between the NDA and the Left, which in turn, has promised its backing for an adjournment motion on black money to be tabled by senior BJP leader L K Advani.

But what has added a tinge of heightened confrontation is the NDA's decision to target Chidambaram who they demand should be made an accused in the 2G case claiming that he was also party to the decision on Spectrum allocation as Finance Minister in UPA-I.

However, Congress has attacked the opposition on its decision against Chidambaram saying it was part of the NDA's tactics of "destructive disruption" of Parliament.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party's other top brass held a strategy session.

Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has already expressed government's readiness to discuss any issue and appealed to the opposition to help cooperate the government in passage of important legislations, including the Lokpal Bill.

The last monsoon session had witnessed several disruptions on a range of issues including Lokpal and 2G while the winter session of last year was a complete washout on the demand for setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Ccommittee to probe the 2G issue.

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