Parliament logjam: No breakthrough in all-party meeting

| Monday, August 3, 2015 - 17:21
First Published |

No breakthrough in all-party meeting

New Delhi: An all-party meeting called by the Narendra Modi government on Monday failed to break the parliamentary logjam, with the Congress and the NDA government reiterating their positions on resignations over the Lalit Modi and Vyapam issues.
While the Congress demanded the resignations of Sushma Swaraj and chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the government ruled out any resignations.
The monsoon session, which began on July 21, has been washed out till date over the opposition demand for the resignations of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh over the former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi and Vyapam issues.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said that the all-party meeting was convened to break the logjam, but the Congress continued to stick to its demand for the resignations.
"The Congress stuck to its demand of 'first resignations and then only the house will run'. However, other parties are of the view that the house should function and there should be debates and discussions on a lot of issues, from regional to national," he said.
Naidu also accused the Congress of "targeting" Swaraj and said it was "unfortunate to say that the government was rigid on its stand.
"In fact, the Congress is rigid on its stand. Even before the beginning of the (mosoon) session, the Congress (leaders) said they will not allow the house to function until the resignations of the BJP leaders. We are ready for a debate on any issue they want," Naidu said.
Naidu also said that the Congress was running a "smear campaign" against Swaraj.
"Let the minister respond. She (Swaraj) is ready to put her point in front of the people. Even the prime minister will respond as and when required. It's unfair to run a smear campaign against the minister. Twelve days have gone. Now, please allow the house to function," the union parliamentary affairs minister said.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said he was happy that the government called the meeting, but said that "unfortunately, it wants to run the house on its own terms and conditions".
"This is not how a democracy functions. The opposition also wants the logjam to end, but our demand is clear cut - first resignations, then business," he said.
Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay said most parties were of the view that the house should function but it's up to the ruling party (BJP) and the main opposition party (Congress).
"We have a lot of regional issue we want to discuss in parliament. The whole of Bengal has been affected by floods. There are issues of farmers too," Bandopadhyay told the media.
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said, "If there will be no solution to the logjam, ultimately parliamentary democracy will lose."
Leaders from different opposition parties, including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress, Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal-United and Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party and Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party attended the meeting.
Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu were present from the government side.

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