Updated: August 10, 2015 7:20:59 am
As the monsoon session of Parliament enters its last week Monday, there is no sign of any let up in the Congress offensive which has led to Parliamentary logjam.
The party, which had boycotted Lok Sabha for four days to protest the suspension of 25 of its MPs, will return to the House Monday, along with major Opposition parties like the Trinamool Congress, the JD(U) and the Left.
Top Congress leaders met at party president Sonia Gandhi’s residence over the weekend to take stock of the situation. Sources said the party, which is demanding the resignation of the external affairs minister as well as the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, will not back down in the House. It remains to be seen whether Congress MPs return to Lok Sabha with the placards that had earned 25 of them a five-day suspension from Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, meanwhile, made it clear once again on Sunday that the Congress’s demand for resignations would not even be discussed.
“I have told them, please come to the House. Let there be a discussion. Even the suspension of Congress MPs can be revoked. But there was no response. Even now if there is a meaningful suggestion, the government is willing to consider the suggestion,” he said in Chennai.
Naidu said eight important Bills are yet to be debated and passed. “I hope the Congress understands its responsibility. Let us see what is going to happen. I want Monday to be Monday and I don’t want Monday to be a Sunday,” he said. Naidu said the government wanted Parliament to function “at least for the coming four days, since (only) four days are left”. The session will end Thursday.
The legislations on the table include the Constitutional Amendment Bill for ushering in Goods and Services Tax, the Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill and the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, too, appealed to Opposition parties to lend support to the GST Bill for its passage in Parliament. “I appeal to all parties to support us in Parliament so that we can pass it. We are open to amendments of GST Bill in the future as per suggestions of traders,” he said at a meeting of traders Sunday.
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