New Delhi: The stalemate in the Parliament continued Wednesday over a string of scams allegedly involving three senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but cracks emerged in the opposition with signs that the Congress may get isolated on the floor of the house.

Repeated disruptions by the Congress-led opposition forced several adjournments of both houses of Parliament, with no business being conducted.

Problem emerged for the Congress’s floor managers as the largest opposition party had to cancel a protest in the Parliament premises against external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The Congress and Left parties, along with some other parties, have demanded that the three leaders of the BJP step down. Congress leaders later said there was no official plan for a protest, and it was decided in a meeting Tuesday evening that the party should try and look for other means to register its demand and not get isolated in protesting against the government.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley told Rajya Sabha, “If they want to discuss the issues related to Sushma Swaraj, we are ready for discussion. Government is pushing for discussion. Sushma Swaraj will give a reply."

The upper house witnessed five adjournments while the Lok Sabha, adjourned four times, was barely able to function.

The government has firmly defended Swaraj and the two chief ministers. During the day, Swaraj tweeted that a senior Congress leader was pressing her hard to issue a diplomatic passport to coal-scam accused Santosh Bagrodia.

“I will disclose the name of the leader on the floor of the house," Swaraj tweeted.

There were protests on the floor of the Lok Sabha with Congress members carrying placards, and Congress members of Parliament (MPs) wearing black bands to protest against the government.

The Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan had to warn Congress members, while trying to bring order in the lower house.

“We want a discussion but first there should be action against the minister and two chief ministers," said Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati also joined the opposition party protests and said that the incidents exposed the party that claimed to be honest.

To counter the resignation demands of the opposition parties, BJP leaders said that since the problems facing the chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were state issues, they could not be discussed on the floor of the house.

For the second day, the government rejected the opposition’s demand. “There should be discussion. There will be no resignation. Congress has not done its homework, they should agree for debate," said Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, minister of state for parliamentary affairs.

The BSP and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, attacked the government for calling the Vyapam scam a state issue and demanded that the chief minister step down.

Mayawati said, “Vyapam is not a state issue, it’s a national issue." Opposition parties have argued since around 50 people linked to the scam have died, the centre should intervene and the issue should be discussed in Parliament.

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “This is not the jurisdiction of the state alone. People outside the state have lost their lives too. Discussion is not a substitute for investigation. Since an investigation is ordered and the concerned people do not step down, there cannot be a discussion."

Analysts say that opposition parties, especially the Congress, is determined not to cooperate with the government. “The question is, was the opposition cooperating before the allegations came up? The answer is no. Opposition parties don't have the required number. It will be interesting to see what defence the government has to offer. Congress and the BJP have past history of not allowing Parliament to function. The two parties have to agree to allow the house to function," said Manisha Priyam, New Delhi-based political analyst.

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