Delay in conveying stand hampering LS oppn coordination

Sources said Congress finalises it strategy just before the House assembles, leaving very little time to bring other parties on board. (PTI File Photo)

Delay in conveying its stand and strategy by Congress in Lok Sabha to like-minded parties appears to be hindering effective floor coordination in Lok Sabha, prompting the main Opposition party to take corrective steps.

Sources said Congress finalises it strategy just before the House assembles, leaving very little time to bring other parties on board.

Some floor leaders of "like-minded" Opposition parties complain that the Congress continues its big brother attitude and expect the regional parties to play second fiddle all the time.

Congress leaders admit there are some "glitches" in communicating its strategy to parties, as many times the clear stand on issues are finalised a bit late.

UPA Chairperson and Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi have entrusted the task of coordination to Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Chief Whip Kodikunnil Suresh. Congress has also appointed Manickam Tagore and Gaurav Gogoi as whips.

Asked about the floor coordination, a senior Congress MP said one could witness better coordination and allies and like-minded parties are now joining Congress in its protests.

However, another MP complained that the other parties "pick and choose" issues. "In Karnataka, they are supporting us because it can happen to them also. When it is centre-state issues, they are supporting. But on other issues they are not," he said.

However, a senior Opposition party MP said they do not get support from Congress when they raise issues. "Congress has the lung power compared to other parties, which have 10 or fewer MPs. They will not even stop their sloganeering to allow us to speak even when the issue is of their interest too," the MP said.

Improving coordination among its own MPs, the Congress leadership has also asked the Lok Sabha leaders to appoint separate convenors for MPs from a particular state so that the strategy for a day could be conveyed.

This session, Congress Lok Sabha MPs are meeting every morning where they discuss the days' agenda and strategy. In these meetings, sources said, MPs are raising issues and discussing stand on controversial bills like Triple Talaq Bill.

In one of such meetings, Congress MPs had even asked Rahul to reconsider his decision to quit Congress presidentship after the Lok Sabha rout.

The first time Lok Sabha MPs from Congress also attended a workshop on Parliamentary procedures where senior MPs Jairam Ramesh and Rajiv Gowda and former Lok Sabha Secretary General P D T Achary gave lectures.

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