Updated: July 24, 2016 9:24:28 am
At a time when the government is engaged in negotiations with the Congress to narrow down differences on the GST Bill, the main Opposition sent worrying signals Saturday, saying “confrontation and constructive cooperation cannot go hand in hand”.
“I don’t think the Prime Minister and his government are sincere about any constructive cooperation. They are continuing on a path of political targeting, vendetta and consultations. And in this vitiated environment, there is no cooperation possible between the Congress and the government,” Congress deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma told The Sunday Express.
The remarks came a day after the Enforcement Directorate registered a case of money laundering against former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and others on allotment of a plot in Panchkula to Associate Journals Limited (AJL), the publisher of The National Herald newspaper.
The Congress is also unhappy over the way ruling BJP members disrupted proceedings in Rajya Sabha on Friday afternoon, derailing its plan to force passage of a private member Bill seeking amendment of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act to grant a financial package and special status to the state.
Congress leaders called it needless “confrontation” which they said could cast a shadow on cooperation between the two sides.
Referring to the Rajya Sabha episode, Sharma said, “Yesterday, what they did was needless. A self-defeating exercise by the ruling party with Ministers disrupting the House and forcing adjournment. And that was basically to prevent voting on this Bill for special status.”
The Congress appeared to be angry over the ED move against Hooda in the National Herald case, which could lead to the doorstep of the Gandhi family.
Although Sharma did not refer to the ED move, he said, “You can’t just abuse authority and misuse agencies like ED and CBI virtually on a daily basis to target Congress former chief ministers and leaders and expect the Congress to meekly submit. This is a political fight. And the government will get it back in full measure.”
Asked whether all this will affect passage of legislations in Parliament, he said, “It is they who are derailing their own agenda by vitiating the environment and engaging in perpetual confrontation. We have not asked them to do so. Confrontation and constructive cooperation cannot go together. It cannot go hand in hand. It is now for the Prime Minister to choose. We know how to fight our political battle.”
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