Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Saturday night disclosed that Congress president Sonia Gandhi called her in a bid to end the parliamentary impasse and she told her that the government should announce cancellation of coal blocks and institute a fair and independent inquiry.
Significantly, there was no mention of the demand of the BJP for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a pre-condition for her party allowing normal functioning of Parliament.
Mrs. Swaraj tweeted: “Friends from media are asking me as to whether Mrs. Sonia Gandhi spoke to me? If yes then what transpired between us?... Yes Mrs. Gandhi spoke to me on phone. She wanted the parliamentary impasse to end by our agreeing to a discussion... I told her that the government should announce the cancellation of coal blocks and institute a fair and independent inquiry. Then we could have a discussion.”
There is convergence in the demand of Ms. Swaraj in her talk with Ms. Gandhi and that of the Left parties, the Samajwadi Party and the TDP.
Sonia goes abroad
With Ms. Gandhi going abroad for a ‘routine medical check-up,’ it is now for Dr. Singh to take a decision.
The functioning of Parliament has been disrupted after the CAG’s report on coal blocks allotments was tabled. It said a delay in implementation of the policy on allotments by bidding caused an estimated presumptive loss of Rs. 1.85 lakh crore to the exchequer.
Senior BJP leaders said the admission by Union Tourism Minister that he had written to the Prime Minister seeking his “intervention” for allotment of two coal blocks to a company in which his brother is an honorary executive director, vindicated their stand.