NDA decides "to boycott" Chidambaram
The Left parties and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have arrived at an understanding that they will support each other on their respective decisions to move adjournment motions on Tuesday, first day of the winter session of Parliament.
While the Left is determined to move an adjournment motion on inflation and price rise — accusing the government of not doing anything to check high food prices despite assurances to Parliament — veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani, fresh from his Jan Chetna Yatra, is to move a similar motion on black money, demanding the government make public the names of account holders in tax havens abroad.
Sources in the NDA said that after informal discussions with the Left, the BJP agreed to support the Left's adjournment motion and the Left would support the BJP's.
At a meeting of the NDA on Monday evening, leaders also decided to focus on Home Minister P. Chidambaram's “role in the 2G spectrum allocation scandal” as the former Finance Minister. The NDA was of the view that “he was as guilty as former Communications Minister A. Raja, who was forced to resign.”
The NDA decided “to boycott” Mr. Chidambaram, said S.S. Ahluwalia, BJP's deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha. “We will neither listen to him nor allow him to speak in Parliament.”
On the face of it, the Left is saying it wants Parliament to function so that important issues – FDI in retail, pension regulatory fund and the civil nuclear liability rules among other issues – could be effectively discussed.
The NDA too is saying it wants Parliament to function.
However, the general view among MPs is that it was difficult to see a smooth beginning of the winter session. The last winter session was a complete write-off with a standoff between the government and the Opposition on the issue of setting up a joint parliamentary committee on the 2G affair, an issue on which the government finally caved in.
The government has a heavy business agenda with 30 plus pieces of legislation that it wants passed, including, of course, the Lokpal Bill on which the standing committee is to give its recommendations latest by December 7. The BJP is waiting and watching to see what shape the government gives to this important legislation.
The government's view is that it is open to discuss any issue the Opposition parties want, provided motions moved by them fall within the rules.