Floor managers devise strategy to prevent monsoon session washout

Floor managers devise strategy to prevent monsoon session washout

With 25 Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha suspended on Monday for disrupting the House, a section of floor managers of the Modi government are hopeful of pushing through some pending bills already passed by the Rajya Sabha, during the next five days.

The government may also use this window to allow external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to make a statement on the Lalitgate row, which she did amidst disruptions in the Rajya Sabha on Monday morning. But, the floor managers’ hope hinges on strategy adopted by other non-NDA parties which have not joined the Congress-led protest inside both the Houses seeking resignation of Swaraj and two chief ministers - Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan - before taking up a debate on Lalitgate and Vyapam scam.  

If the BJD, AIADMK and SP boycott proceedings or prevent routine business in the Lok Sabha, it would be difficult for the government to push their immediate legislative agenda.

After the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day, Swaraj met Speaker Sumitra Mahajan at her Parliament office. Later, she also had a meeting with parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu and BJP chief whip of the Lower House Arjun Meghwal.

BJP sources said the government might also use this opportunity to clear the air of Congress “propaganda” against Swaraj, accusing her of involvement in getting travel documents for disgraced former IPL chief Lalit Modi. Many Opposition parties in the Lok Sabha – SP, BJD, AIADMK and NC - are not averse to such a situation as the BJP argued that even when they were in opposition they had allowed a three-day discussion on charges faced by former telecom minister A Raja before seeking his resignation.

Among the bills cleared by the Rajya Sabha but pending before the Lok Sabha are, “The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014 and The Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2015. Besides, the demands for grants for railways are yet to be passed by the lower House. Both bills were listed for discussion and passage on Monday as a face saver as the government is staring at a parliament washout with the monsoon session slated to end on August 13.

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