Opposition unity intact but tenuous

Updated - November 17, 2021 01:52 am IST

Published - July 24, 2015 01:02 am IST - New Delhi:

Despite the Bharatiya Janata Party’s counter-attack on the Congress, the Opposition stuck to its guns on Thursday for action in the Vyapam scam and the Lalit Modi saga, forcing the adjournment of the Lok Sabha till Friday. Yet, the Opposition unity remained fragile, with no uniform resistance to the government’s attempt at stonewalling the demand for resignations.

The BJP vigorously countered the Congress-led charge and the ruling party’s placards and slogans far outnumbered those of the Opposition in the House.

When the House reconvened at noon, after the disruptions in the morning, a large number of BJP MPs flashed placards against alleged corruption in Congress-ruled States.

“C for Congress, C for Corruption,” one placard read. BJP members even rushed into the Well.

Congress members were shouting slogans against the government, but were admonished and sent back soon by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley – who was present in the house – and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

The Speaker tried to run the House but soon adjourned it amid pandemonium for the entire day.

Skips meeting

The Opposition also cold shouldered an attempt by the government to end the impasse in the Rajya Sabha. Leader of the House Arun Jaitley had called an informal meeting of Opposition leaders to discuss the matter in his office but it was thinly attended. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad later said nothing would have come of the meeting and the party was clear on its demand for resignations first and discussions later.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury too reiterated the demand for resignations. Countering Mr. Jaitley’s charge that the Opposition was unable to point out which law had been violated, Mr. Yechury said provisions of both the Representation of People Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act were violated by the three leaders. On skipping Mr. Jaitley’s meeting, he said the message was delivered informally with no agenda communicated and his party had decided to stay away.

Yet, Opposition unity remained fragile, with no uniform resistance to the government’s attempt at stonewalling the demand for resignations.

The Samajwadi Party reiterated that it was not seeking Ms. Swaraj’s resignation while the Trinamool Congress continued to remain equidistant.

‘Convergence on some issues’

“There is no coordinated effort at remaining united. We cannot wish away the BJP’s majority. There is a convergence on certain issues and on the fact that one of our main tasks is to seek accountability of the government,” an Opposition party leader told The Hindu .

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