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Govt not keeping Oppn on board,complains BJP

The BJP has said that the ruling Congress has not done enough to keep the Opposition on board on key legislations,and added it needs to do more to reach out to the Opposition....

The BJP has said that the ruling Congress has not done enough to keep the Opposition on board on key legislations,and added it needs to do more to reach out to the Opposition.

As Parliament re-convenes on Thursday,after a recess,the BJP said that the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill and Foreign Universities Bill were the only two Bills where the government thought it proper to consult the principal Opposition party.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha,Sushma Swaraj,seeking support on the nuclear Bill,whereas the National Security Adviser had two rounds of interactions — once with Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley,and on another occasion,with a group of BJP leaders — on the same issue. Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal,on the other hand,met BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi,who is a former HRD minister,seeking his party’s support on the Bill.

The BJP,however,contends that “this is not enough” and that the “ruling party needs to do more”. “I had requested the Union HRD Minister for a copy of the draft bill,but what I got was a sheet of paper enlisting ‘salient features’ of the Foreign Universities Bill,on April 12,” Joshi told The Indian Express.

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“They (the government) have not really reached out to us,on key legislations,except for the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill and Foreign Universities Bill,” Sushma Swaraj said.

According to Jaitley,“The government must realise that it has a slender majority in the Lok Sabha,and it is in minority in Rajya Sabha. The rule has to be consensus and consultations rather than arrogance.”

Besides the two Bills,BJP leaders said that a Home Ministry team,sometime ago,briefed Jaitley on Left wing extremism,while the Foreign Secretary briefed the Leaders of Opposition of the two Houses on “Foreign Secretary level talks with Pakistan”. The BJP leaders added that Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily,too,held consultations with Jaitley on a couple of Bills,during the session.

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While the Opposition leaders discuss the legislative agenda with the ruling party during the weekly Business Advisory Committee meetings,the BJP said it is not enough,and contrasted this with the NDA regime “when the ruling party used to have more frequent interactions with the Opposition”. “We used to have regular,and frequent,interactions with the Opposition,during the NDA rule. The government today needs to do more.”

First published on: 15-04-2010 at 02:31 IST
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