Bid to end impasse in Parliament

In an effort to end the week-long Parliamentary impasse over a discussion on price rise under a motion that entails a vote, Leader of House Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday called up Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj to suggest a sort of neutral resolution by the House on the issue.

It is learnt that Mr. Mukherjee suggested a resolution that would focus on “inflationary pressures” on the economy and the need for the government to take steps to contain the impact of these pressures.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader's immediate reaction was to point out that her colleague in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley was not in town, nor was allied party leader Sharad Yadav. Moreover, she is believed to have said that in any resolution “high prices of food” and the pain borne by the ‘ aam admi' must figure.

While clearly differences still persist between the stand of the Opposition parties demanding that the matter be discussed and then voted upon, the government has made it clear that it would not yield on the issue. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has been saying that if called upon to get its numbers together, the government would do it, as it has in the past. Speaker Meira Kumar already disallowed the Opposition's adjournment motion.

Mr. Mukherjee's telephone call shows the government wants a way out of the impasse to get Parliament going with its normal business.