The Government on Thursday claimed that it had Congress “cornered” on the penultimate day of the Monsoon session while slamming the opposition party for its “disruptive tactics” in Parliament even as the option was kept open of reconvening the session to push passage of the GST Bill.
During consultations held with floor leaders of NDA in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on the last day of the current session on Thursday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu also thanked the allies for their support during the highly-contentious session.
In the meeting, which was attended by leaders of all NDA allies in the two Houses, the government claimed that Congress was “cornered” in Parliament on the penultimate day over the Lalit Modi controversy after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s reply in Lok Sabha, sources said.
It was also decided that MPs of the ruling alliance would take out a march from Vijay Chowk to the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament to protest against the disruptions brought about by Congress.
Apart from Mr. Singh and Mr. Naidu, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Ranjit Singh Brahmpura of Shiromani Akali Dal, Raju Shetty of Swabhimaani Shetkari Sanghatana, YS Chowdary and T Narsimham of TDP, Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal, Arun Kumar of RLSP and Ramdas Athavale of RPI.
The home minister is learnt to have told the NDA leaders that while Congress had started its campaign against the government on an aggressive note, prompting comments that the government was on the back-foot, the main opposition party got completely cornered towards the end of the session.
Mr. Naidu, too, was critical of Congress, saying that the act of the party’s MPs in waving placards in Lok Sabha was in “complete defiance” of the Speaker’s authority.
He also claimed that Ms. Swaraj’s reply on the Lalit Modi issue and the government’s strong defence had “exposed” the reality of Congress’s campaign.
“It was a stock-taking meeting as to how things went for the government in the Monsoon session and what should be the strategy ahead,” said a government source.
The meeting took place after the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs decided not to recommend immediate prorogation of the two Houses of Parliament so as to keep the option open of reconvening the Monsoon session to push the passage of the GST Bill.
Mr. Naidu also talked about the efforts of the government to take the opposition on board and the various meetings and back-channel talks through which it had tried to reach out to them.
He told the NDA leaders that Congress, however, was in no mood for a discussion and was “hell bent” on causing disruptions.