Cracks in Oppn over House logjam

Cracks in Oppn over House logjam

Barely a week after a show of unity, cracks in the Opposition ranks were out in the open on Monday when Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav told the Congress to call off the protests against the Centre.

The plain speak from Yadav at a meeting of leaders of various political parties convened by Lok Sabha (LS) Speaker Sumitra Mahajan half-way through the Question Hour took the Congress by surprise.
Only last week, the SP stood by the Congress after the Speaker had suspended 25 of its members for five days and even boycotted the LS proceedings.

Emboldened by the SP stand, BJP chief whip Arjun Ram Meghwal has given notice for a discussion on beleaguered former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi controversy under Rule 193 in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The discussion may be taken up at 2:00 pm.

In the Rajya Sabha, the government has listed the GST Bill for consideration and passing on Tuesday to give a message ahead of Bihar elections that it was serious in reviving the sagging economy.
As Congress members trooped into the Well of the House raising slogans and waving placards, Yadav suddenly decided to play the role of the peacemaker between the main Opposition party and the government. “You call a meeting of all leaders right now and all this will stop,” the former defence minister told the Speaker.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi was seen saying “no” to party leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and gestured towards its members asking them to continue the protests.

After repeated requests from Yadav, the Speaker adjourned the House and leaders, including Kharge, Jyotiraditya Scinda and K C Venugopal, trooped into Mahajan’s chamber for talks.

At the meeting, the SP chief bluntly told the Congress leaders that he would not support the Congress if they continued their protests in the House. He argued that those making allegations and against whom the allegations were made have the right to speak in Parliament and explain their position to the people of the country.Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sudeep Bandyopadhyay also favoured a discussion on the IPL issue but as an adjournment motion and not under Rule 193 that does not entail voting. BJP floor managers claimed the Nationalist Congress Party, TMC and Rashtriya Janata Dal also supported the SP supremo and that the Congress was isolated during the meeting.

Since the monsoon session began on July 21, Congress members have been disrupting the proceeding with vociferous demands for resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for helping Lalit Modi.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, too, is on the Congress radar in relation to the Vyapam scam.

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