BJP wants Ashwani and Bansal out before taking up legislation, but Congress steadfast

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who has been under attack from the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, on Tuesday reached out to the BJP leader in Parliament and walked with one hand on her shoulder, ostensibly to win support for the passage of crucial Bills.

Soon after Lok Sabha was adjourned, Ms Swaraj was walking towards Central Hall with BJP Parliamentary Party chief L K Advani and other MPs when Ms Gandhi approached her and put her one arm on the Leader of the Opposition’s shoulder.

Ms Gandhi walked with her for some distance.

The MPs, who were witness to this new camaraderie between Ms Gandhi and Ms Swaraj, said the two leaders talked animatedly with each other. BJP leaders were, however, tight-lipped about the subject of the conversation.

Ms Gandhi’s gesture appears as a bid for a rapprochement with the main Opposition as the ruling party wants the Food Security and the Land Acquisition Bills passed in Parliament before the Budget Session ends on May 10. BJP supports these Bills in principle and would give its nod if certain amendments are incorporated.

The Congress President’s move came as a surprise to many as on last Friday, Ms Swaraj had accused Ms Gandhi of instigating her MPs to disrupt her speech in Lok Sabha.

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