Both Houses of Parliament saw intense political posturing and trading of allegations between the Congress and the BJP. The war of words took place in the context of state elections taking place in different parts of the country.
Uttarakhand political crisis
During the last session, the Congress was on the defensive over the summons issued to its top leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the alleged National Herald scam. However, this time, it gained ammunition from the Uttarakhand High Court's order which had set aside the imposition of President's Rule in the state, a move which the Congress termed as a 'murder of democracy.'
The Congress' tough stand on the issue can be gauged by its leader Jairam Ramesh's statement that there is 'no prospect of Parliament functioning till the Uttarakhand issue is settled.'
BJP leader Arun Jaitley, on his part, said that the real breakdown of Constitutional machinery in Uttarakhand happened when the Speaker ignored the vote of 35 out of 67 members to declare a bill as passed, as reported by DNA. The Rajya Sabha saw a war of words over the issue, after which it was adjourned for the day.
Like the previous Parliament session, it seems that the Congress' first family may the target of the BJP-led government's 'attack-to-defend' strategy this time as well. The judgment of an Italian court, which held that a bribe was paid by the firm to Indian officials couldn't have come at a worse time for the grand old party.
The Ishrat Jahan issue has also rocked the Parliament through this session, with the BJP asked its members of parliament to go on the offensive against the Congress over the issue
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the MPs that the whole world knew Ishrat Jahan was a terrorist, but Congress and the then home minister P Chidambaram tried to help her," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
Tension at NIT Srinagar
In the Lok Sabha, the government on Tuesday defended the decision to deploy central forces inside NIT in Srinagar which saw trouble recently, saying it was done after requests from the institute's authorities.
"It was not our decision, not a suo motu decision. There was a request from the NIT authorities and hence the decision was taken to deploy central forces in the campus. It was not a unilateral decision of the central government," Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said.
The prevailing drought in various parts of the country also found an echo in Parliament. with a question in the Lok Sabha leading to a war of words between the treasury and opposition benches, with Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh attacking erstwhile Congress-led governments alleging that dams were built in Maharashtra to serve the sugar industry and not the farmers.
When Singh was replying to a supplementary by a Shiv Sena member during Question Hour on whether government will extend relief to the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra for drought, some Congress members asked whether the relief would be extended.
An agitated Singh shot back, telling Congress members to have the "patience and courage" to listen to his reply. He alleged that dams were constructed in Maharashtra to serve the interests of the sugar industry and not the farmers. "I demand a discussion on Maharashtra drought so that facts can come to light," he said.
With the session to continue till 13 May, it seems that there is much political mud-slinging in store in the next couple of weeks.
With inputs from agencies