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BJP may block Bills to avenge govt push to JPC report

Hints at non-cooperation on crucial Bills,mulls no-confidence move against Speaker.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
December 11, 2013 12:08:38 am

With the government tabling the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) report on the 2G spectrum allocation despite objections from the opposition in both houses of Parliament,the BJP Tuesday indicated it won’t cooperate with the government on crucial legislations in the current session.

Senior party leaders indicated the party was not in mood to cooperate with the government on crucial legislations. “The government has already become lame duck after the Congress’s dismal performance in the assembly elections. Given its attitude to steamroll its way on the JPC report,there is little scope for it to expect cooperation from BJP on crucial matters,” said a party leader.

Such is the anger within the BJP that senior party leader Yashwant Sinha suggested the BJP parliamentary party meeting in the morning to move a no-confidence motion against Speaker Meira Kumar for denying permission to BJP leaders in the Lok Sabha to voice objections to the tabling of the report on Monday.

The BJP protested against the tabling of JPC report in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday as well. As soon as Deputy Chairman P J Kurien called Congress member Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu to table the report,the BJP,AIADMK,DMK,Left and Trinamool Congress members stood up raising objections.

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Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley sought a ruling from the chair on whether the chairman of any committee can alter the substance of dissent notes and argued that it amounts to “breach of privilege”. “Under the powers to correct a note of dissent which is submitted by members of this House,can the chairman of any committee just delete unparliamentary words,correct language or can he alter the substance of that dissent note? If he alters the substance,the chairman is guilty of breach of privilege… The substance of the dissent note given by members of this House has been altered by the chairman,” Jaitley said,referring to JPC chairman P C Chacko.

Deputy Leader of the BJP in Rajya Sabha Ravishankar Prasad,who was a member of the 30-member JPC,quoted Article 105 of the Constitution to argue that he has the freedom to administer a note of dissent. “We have given a strong dissent note… Those really responsible for corruption of Rs 1,76,000 crore have been left out…. Evidence has been ignored. This report should not be allowed to be presented on the floor of the House,” he said.

Kurien,however,overruled the opposition demand and allowed tabling of the report. “I invited a ruling from the chair on this issue… Regrettably no ruling came,” Jaitley later said in a Facebook post.

The party expressed similar disappointment over Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar’s denial of permission to BJP leaders on Monday. “It is a matter of great pain and discomfort for party leaders. The decision from Lok Sabha Speaker refusing party leaders to lodge their protest against tabling of report yesterday was totally unfortunate,” Prasad said. Party leaders said Sinha’s suggestion will be considered after Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj’s return from South Africa where she has gone to attend Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.

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