The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government is bracing itself for a fresh onslaught on Monday by the Bharatiya Janata Party on the just-released Comptroller and Auditor-General's report on last year's controversial Commonwealth Games.
For the moment, Congress sources said the party had decided “to play it by the ear” and wait until the Opposition's tactics become clearer.
On Sunday, BJP Parliamentary Party's Core Group met under L.K. Advani's leadership here to strategise on a host of issues, including the CAG report and the critical question of land acquisition. However, its final plan of action will emerge only after the party's leaders confer with their National Democratic Alliance allies on Monday: the BJP is very keen, party sources said, to take its allies on board.
The BJP leaders discussed the possibility of moving a privilege motion against Minister of State for Sports Ajay Maken for “misleading” the House by stating that the decision on how the CWG Organising Committee would be constituted was done during the NDA's tenure. Simultaneously, the party would like to press for a discussion on the CAG report, and if the government does not accede to this demand, it wants to press for an adjournment of both Houses of Parliament, something that will disrupt the relative peace of the last few days.
“For the last few days, several corruption-related issues have come up. All such issues were discussed to finalise the party's strategy,” BJP Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha S.S. Ahluwalia told journalists after the meeting. “Tomorrow [Monday] morning at the meeting of the NDA, we will take a final decision on the strategy in Parliament for the week.”
For the Congress — which had managed to come to an understanding with the BJP on a series of discussions on the key issues of price rise, internal security and corruption, and received an indication that the House would be allowed to run more or less smoothly so that the heavy legislative agenda could be taken forward — the release of the CAG report has forced a rethink of strategy.
Responding to the BJP's threat to move a privilege motion against Mr. Maken, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari told The Hindu that its “form and content” would have to be examined before any response could be given. On the demand for a discussion on the CAG report on the CWG, Mr. Tewari said, “An accounting report cannot form the basis of political discourse. The CAG's report has to be first examined by the Public Accounts Committee before it can be discussed in the House.”