New Delhi: In a toughening of stand, Government today indicated it may go ahead with legislative business despite the BJP’s “diabolical design” to disrupt Parliament on the Coalgate issue.
A bill seeking to replace an ordinance on setting up of centres like AIIMS has to be passed in this session itself as classes are beginning from 15 September in such centres set up in five states recently. A senior minister said, “this bill cannot wait”.
It is learnt that the Government was keen to pass at least 18 of the 32 bills listed for consideration in the session which concludes on 7 September. These included some anti-corruption bills like the Whistleblowers Bill and Prevention of Bribery to Foreign Officials Bill. Besides, a bill on Chemical Convention and
another against sexual harassment of women are pending.
When asked about it, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said that no decision has been taken about rushing through any bill in Parliament. A meeting of senior Congress leaders and Union Ministers presided by party chief Sonia Gandhi today took stock of the pending legislative business in the session and the strategy ahead.
Bansal, who briefed the meeting, later went hammer and tongs against the BJP accusing it of having a “diabolical design to subvert the system and democracy”. Bansal also rejected all the three demands-resignation of the Prime Minister, judicial inquiry in the coal block allocation and cancellation of allotment of the coal blocks.
“I can say it in my personal capacity that there is no question of cancelling the allotments as nothing wrong has been done,” he said. Rejecting BJP’s demand for Prime Minister’s resignation of the Prime Minister, Bansal said, “the Prime Minister has not been sworn in by the opposition” adding that “this is great insult to people that we do not accept your decision”.
“How could you talk of judicial inquiry. You want the Parliamentary system to run or not. A CBI probe is already on and the wrongdoers will be brought to book.”
“This is nothing short of fascism. They are trying to impose their minority view. They say discussion under 193 which does not entail voting is meaningless. They have no
faith in Parliamentary devices. They say we (BJP) are fine basking in our self acclaimed glory of majestic isolation, but you (government) go,” he said. He said the BJP has been isloated in the campaign against the Prime Minister as all other parties are in favour of discussion. There is a view in the government that some of the allies of NDA mainly JD-U is not happy with BJP’s disruption of Parliament.
In both the meetings of Congress Parliamentary Affairs Committee and its Executive Committee chaired by Gandhi, the MPs and ministers discussed the issue and made certain suggestions, which were not disclosed to the media.
There was also a view in the party that if the Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj had made any personal attack or made any direct allegation, it should be challenged legally.
While the Parliamentary Affairs Committee meeting took a view of the House business both transacted and non-transacted, the Executive Committee meeting having state coordinators deliberated at length at the strategy ahead.
In the meetings, Gandhi also inquired about the attendance of Congress members in both Houses and flagged the need to counter the Opposition attack effectively.