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Updated: November 23, 2011 02:36 IST

Left, BJP moves put UPA on tenterhooks

Special Correspondent
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Wary of censure vote, government calls for discussion on prices

With the Bharatiya Janata Party “boycotting” Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram over his alleged role in the 2G controversy and pressing for an adjournment motion on the black money issue, UPA government managers on Tuesday turned to the Left to try and find a way to ward off a looming standoff on prices that could lead to the ruling dispensation being censured in Parliament.

House leader Pranab Mukherjee invited Left party leaders Sitaram Yechury and Basudev Acharia of the CPI(M) and Gurudas Dasgupta and D. Raja of the CPI for lunch after the Lok Sabha saw a couple of adjournments and no business following the Left notice for an adjournment motion on high prices. Mr. Mukherjee is believed to have cautioned the Left leaders on the perils and “consequences” of a vote following the adjournment motion that could end up censuring the government. What remained unsaid, but clearly understood, by those at the meeting was that the Manmohan Singh government would not countenance a censure that would make its continuance morally untenable.

It is not quite certain how the political theatre will play out in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. But, there is a clear indication from both the government and the Opposition that a discussion on prices flowing out of the statement of the Finance Minister in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday could resolve the tangle.

The government's hopes are based on notices given by Mr. Dasgupta and Mr. Acharia for a simple short duration discussion on prices.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal has jumped at this suggestion, telling reporters: “We will have this discussion on prices tomorrow [Wednesday].”

The clear hope, though not articulated, was the adjournment motion would then become redundant. But, of course, the UPA has yet to deal with the certainty that the day after, the BJP would bring another adjournment motion on black money, which could also lead to a government censure if put to vote. For now, the government's managers want to look at one day at a time.

Despite the government's optimism about the Left, the CPI(M) did not sound at all relenting. “The government should answer why it is not taking steps [to control prices] and since it is not doing so, we want a discussion that entails voting in the Rajya Sabha and an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha … our focus is price rise in both the Houses,” Mr. Yechury and Mr. Acharia said at a press conference.

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Nothing substantial would indicate Mr. Chidambaram's role in the 2G case. There is none! He is a man of Integrity. The reason why he is hated is because he doesn't suffer fools easily, of which we have plenty among our political class. He is quite right in his assessment of other politicians/leaders. What he seems to suggest is, Look we can be less serious and irresponsible when outside of governance, But certainly not when shouldering the responsibility of respective ministries. I sense something 'external' when he is constantly being bullied, defamed or humiliated by one and all. Just observe what he wants to do for this country. A spruced up top notch security establishment that's akin to Mrs. Indira Gandhi's. Do you remember that the only time China, Pakistan and the US were Frightened or Frustrated was during her time!, Unlike now!

from:  Sunil
Posted on: Dec 3, 2011 at 12:36 IST

For a moment, I thought the the word 'tenterhooks' in the title must be wrong. But, knowing The Hindu's standard of English, I googled the word and found that the right spelling is indeed 'tenterhooks', and not 'tenderhooks'!

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 19:06 IST

Mr.Hitesh., evidences stand.. when they are put in the court., not by
putting them on press. well you may not want to hear PC., but the fact
is he is the Home Minister. It carries no value for our likings or
dislikes., he is still the authority and he should be allowed to carry
on with his work. There are more legal ways to make him step down if he
is at fault., the present ones are just propaganda politics.

from:  Jaya Prakash
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 16:22 IST

Mr.Dhandapani you brought a smile on my face., we are not for an
argument here. My point is very simple no one has the right to stop
the proceedings of the parliament. It would be nothing but a kids
act., if BJP is doing this because congress did that before.. where is
the difference then? There is rule of law in this country., only
Politicians irrespective of party feel they are above law.. Thats why
I appreciate Dr.Swamys efforts... thats the way to do... though his
going to the press when matters are in the court.. does put a question
mark on his motives.

from:  Jaya Prakash
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 16:11 IST

Mr.Kumar Pandruvada., you raised a valid point.But you have to realize the ground reality., name one political party which has done that. No one... including the BJP. We know what happened in Karnataka.. the examples can go on. The fact is ... Cases are not fought by experience or commonsense., but fought on proofs and facts. The opposition has every right to raise there voice if not approach the court with facts which will eventually see the downfall of culprits whoever they are. I appreciate Mr.Swamys efforts, though I doubt his motives behind it. But what the opposition doing here is wiping out the session of parliament proceedings which itself is a crime., and looks a cheap propaganda more than anything else.

from:  Jaya Prakash
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 14:01 IST

Boycotts, disruptions, shouting matches, coercion and adjournments have become a predictable agenda for the Opposition so-called. And they get paid big sums of money from the public treasury for these favours. It is scary to realize that the so-called "senior leaders" of these parties barely lift a finger to curb such hooliganism. On the contrary they lead the charge. As if the inertial paralysis of the Treasury benches needed further assistance. We pay to watch this day in and day out. Bollywood could not dream this up. We have seen the enemy in the mirror. It is us.

from:  Cyrus Ptolemon
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 12:15 IST

@Jaya Prakash: Flash back : NDA in power and George Fernades as Defense Minister- same tactic by Congress - and mind you against a minister whose asset is almost negligible ! compare that with Chidu who is reported to have bought 1000 acres in western ghats very recently ! Now let us talk about being roadside rowdy and parliament decorum!

from:  Dandapani
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 12:00 IST

BJP like several other parties may have a strong case against the incumbent Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram regarding his involvement in the 2G spectrum scam, but the charges against him are yet to be proved. Whether he should have resigned by now is a moral issue that should be best left to individual conscience. There is no point in demanding his resignation by blocking the normal business of the House either to put pressure on the government or to divert attention from the Oppositions' own misdeeds. This is not to suggest that Mr. Chidambaram is innocent and should be treated leniently rather to reiterate that more than this issue surrounding him, there are more important things at stakes and for that a functioning parliament is an absolute requirement.

from:  Mukul Kanti Dutta
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 11:38 IST

My comments may look very harsh. But yet they should reach the intended destination. WE are hearing discourses on food inflation that deprives the common man his simple food to fill his hungry stomach and who elects his representatives. These representatives are expected to apply their collective mind and wisdom to alleviate the sufferings of the common man. Here is the finance minister, in a shameless attempt to mollify the opposition party leaders who want to speak for the voiceless common man, hosts them a lunch. Surely, he is not going to serve gruel for these guests.Even if it be so, the tax payer alone is going to pay for this food diplomacy and the Finance Minister is not going to shell out a pie from his legitimate earnings.I do not intend to insult these guests in any way due to FM's tricks to protect the Government he belongs to and save his chair and am sure that they will stick to their guns.FM should take steps to control infaltion, instead of such insulting tactics.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 11:33 IST

@Jaya Prakash : I am more concerned about how UPA government is harboring thief and corrupt HOME MINISTER stubbornly. Politics is always dirty. I donot want to hear from PC, I want to hear from him when he stands in the dock. There are more than enough evidence as shown by Subramaniam Swamy clearly to Press.

from:  Hitesh
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 11:32 IST

That is the true face of the politics in India. BJP is doing stand-out act in the parliament when some of it's own state governments are facing the same kind of agitation. What does not strike these politicians is the delays in the debates required for the betterment of this country(And I am quite sure that half of these MPs don't even know what changes will happen once these laws are made and that is the reason they don't have to do anything with that). Only thing they know that oppose the govt with whatever the reason they have...Nice!!!!!

from:  Ritesh Agrawal
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 10:15 IST

The BJP may hold a valid point in opposing Mr.Chidambaram., but that is no reason to boycott him in the Parliament., and threatening to the extend that he will not be allowed to speak in the Parliament. He still is the Home Minister of the state., and as such it would be only childish and foolish move of the opposition to do so, since his views and answers are very important. The opposition may be walk off if they don't like, but they cannot act like a roadside rowdy and threaten. Please save the Decorum of the Parliament. This move will set a very bad example in the already gone worst Politics in India.

from:  Jaya Prakash
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 10:11 IST

A good move with genuine demand of opposition.The UPA government has been intended to protect a curlprit leader called PC.

from:  Arvind Pandey
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 09:57 IST

The name 'Opposition Party' is being wrongly understood by our Politicians.It simply means a party having a form of political opposition or a party with views opposing those of the current government. But our Politicians have totally misunderstood it as a license of opposition for whatever the government does. An elected Govt. is the one that has to run the country., it is as simple as that.. because it has got the nod from the people., it may fail., as it looks now with the Congress. There are other ways in Constitution by which the opposition can raise their voice or objection, but the constitution gives no right for them to stop the proceedings of A parliament. Of course its the duty of the opposition to voice a wrong doing but not to the point that the Parliament becomes stale. It leads more harm not only to the Parliament but the Country as a whole.The Global Scenario is also alarming. the opposition has to sit with the Govt. and discuss,if they intend to do serve the purpose.

from:  Jaya Prakash
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 07:52 IST

Any person/one who have experience in government administration or commensense, implicitly understand that this 2G controversy or scam or 2G file triggered by the then Finance Ministery headed by P. Chidambaram. Then why does he protected by hon'ble Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson Sonia?

from:  Kumar Pandruvada
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 07:46 IST

The Left has got a golden chance to re-assert itself in the Indian political battlefield. It should not squander that chance away for any quot;sops" the Govt might hold out. In the larger interests of the nation too should the Left not let its foot off the Govt's throat for even a second.Let us see if the Left has even a fraction of its old glory left - the litmus test being how much it can give the smug UPA "reasons to worry"

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 05:03 IST

I wonder why the the conduct of the opposition has not come in for any serious criticism by the press.Time and again I have noted the double standards of responsible national dailies in censuring the opposition over holding the nation ransom to it's petty politics.While the government has never been spared on any issue, the softness on the BJP's mis conduct bodes ill for our democracy and shows the fourth estate in poor light.

from:  Grenvile
Posted on: Nov 23, 2011 at 04:22 IST
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