On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped in to face an adamant Congress that had said it would not permit Parliament to function unless BJP leaders facing allegations from impropriety to corruption, quit.
He not only reached out to the opposition parties at a meeting called by Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu in the morning, but also found himself wooing his NDA allies in the evening, on the eve of what promises to be a very tough monsoon session of Parliament.
But even though Mr Modi and his colleagues reached out to the opposition, they made it clear that there would be no resignations and that they were in no mood to accede to any ultimatums.
If Mr. Modi found little comfort in his meeting with the opposition leaders, he was reassured by his NDA partners that they would stand solidly with the government. Indeed he was nudged by allies to call the meeting — the first since the government was formed 14 months ago — and sought to take them on board with regard to contentious issues including the Land Acquisition Bill.
Mr. Modi managed to get the backing of the allies on the various controversies surrounding BJP leaders but on the contentious Land Bill he extracted cooperation after assuring them that the government would not go ahead without discussion with them. The allies were also promised that there would be more frequent meetings.
Shiv Sena upset
The Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal have time and again dissented on the Land Acquisition Bill with Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal suggesting that the implementation be left to the States. The Shiv Sena too has expressed its unhappiness with the proposed legislation.
The NDA meeting held at Prime Minister’s residence was the last in the series of meetings the government has convened since Sunday to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament which begins on Tuesday.
Earlier at the all-party meeting, the Prime Minister expressed his willingness to discuss any issue, even under rules that permitted voting, as he said that running Parliament is a “shared responsibility”.
Curiously, he quoted the Samajwadi Party’s Ramgopal Yadav, who had said that collective efforts were required for the effective functioning of the opposition.
But this did not satisfy the Opposition. And the two all-party meetings were held — the one convened by Mr. Naidu and the other by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan — both ended in a deadlock.
|1||There is urgency to the exercise as the government’s two crucial bills — the Land Acquisition Bill and the Goods and Services Tax Amendment Bill — are held up.|
|2||The party also summoned Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and her Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan to hear their account in the Lalit Modi and Vyapam controversies.|
|3||At the all-party meeting, the Prime Minister expressed his willingness to discuss any issue, even under rules that permitted voting, as he said that running Parliament is a “shared responsibility”.|
|4||Mr Modi managed to get the backing of the allies on the various controversies surrounding BJP leaders but on the contentious Land Bill he extracted cooperation after assuring them that the government would not go ahead without discussion with them.|
|5||Both the leaders are being targeted by the Opposition but the BJP is firmly backing the two Chief Ministers and has planned a strong counter offensive against the Congress, which is leading the onslaught.|
|6||The party is trying to get its act together not only to frustrate the Opposition but to also assure its allies that the charges against the Chief Ministers are baseless.|
|7||The Congress has been insisting so far that Mr. Modi has remained silent on the issues.|
|8||Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has vowed not to allow passage of the Land bill in Parliament even though Modi government.|
|9||Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said political deadlock over the land acquisition bill was “seriously impacting” rural development.|
|10||The Chief Secretaries of the Congress-ruled States, responding to a letter from the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Land Bill, have stated their objections to the changes proposed by the government to the 2013 Act.|
(With inputs from Jatin Gandhi, Smita Gupta)