New Delhi: The Opposition led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) plans to kick off Parliament’s winter session on a stormy note on Thursday by protesting an ordinance that restricts states’ right to set sugar cane prices and seeking to embarrass the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over the Jharkhand corruption scam.
Seeking accountability: Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley says the government is sure to face a tough time issues many issues such as corruption and internal security. Hemant Mishra / Mint
Along with other members of the National Democratic Alliance, the BJP plans to stall a Bill to replace the Essential Commodities (Amendment and Valuation) Ordinance, 2009. Under the ordinance, the Union government amended the Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966, and it indirectly restricted the right of state governments to fix a state-assured price for sugar cane.
“One should not be surprised if we find support of some UPA partners...,” said Arun Jaitley, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. “The government is sure to face a tough time on this and many other issues like corruption and internal security.”
The BJP would move an adjournment motion on the sugar cane pricing ordinance on the first day of the session, said Sushma Swaraj, deputy leader of the party in the Lok Sabha, after a meeting on Tuesday.
Ahead of the session, the Opposition has stepped up attacks on the government, alleging that investigation of the corruption charges against former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda was being slowed.
Koda was booked by the Enforcement Directorate in early October under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for allegedly diverting state funds and making huge investments abroad.
“We demand that the government should make public the details of the beneficiaries (of) the corruption money,” said Jaitley. “The investigations into the scam seem to be slowing down fearing the revelation of some names of the ruling party in the scam. We will raise the issue in the coming session.”
The Left parties led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, say they will work closely with other opposition groups in taking on the Congress-led government. Left parties and their allies will raise issues including rising prices, disinvestment, Maoist violence and labour laws, said Basudev Acharya, leader of the CPM in the Lok Sabha.
CPM deputy leader in the Lok Sabha P. Karunakaran said there there could be “some issues” on which the Left and the BJP agree.
After a series of electoral reverses, internal differences have surfaced in both the BJP and the Left that could blunt their ability to take on the Congress party, strengthened by its victory in three state assembly elections last month after winning the April-May general elections.
“It is obvious and clear. The differences within the political parties are bound to be reflected in their performance on the floor of the House also,” said N. Bhaskara Rao, political analyst and chairman of the Centre for Media Studies.
The winter session ends on 21 December.