New Delhi: Even as political parties limbered up for assembly elections in five key states by the end of the year, main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) joined the Left parties—despite ideological differences—to attack the government for not convening the regular monsoon session of Parliament and not taking it into confidence before signing the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal.
Accusing the Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance of “undermining” Parliament, the Left parties, which have withdrawn support to the government, gave notices of breach of privilege against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. Interestingly, the BJP backed the Left’s move.
Under fire: PM Manmohan Singh addressing the media on Friday. Vijay Verma / PTI
According to Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, the notices were given on the ground “the Prime Minister in his reply to the confidence motion (which was put to vote on 22 July) that the government would come back to Parliament after getting the consent of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) before operationalizing the (123) agreement with the US.”
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance severely criticized the government on the manner in which it convened the Parliament session and demanded that there should be a rescheduling of the session in addition to a full-fledged winter session.
“This government has made this Parliament redundant and irrelevant,” said BJP spokesperson Sushma Swaraj. Pointing out that at least 10 days of this session will be lost due to public holidays, Swaraj said, “We want rescheduling of the session.”
The Left parties, too, demanded a full-fledged winter session.
Indicating that the BJP, which is gearing up for a tight fight with the ruling Congress in at least four states in November-December, would put the government on the mat, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani said, “We told the government that this Parliament session cannot be considered a continuation of the last session when the trust vote was held.”