BJP changes tack, to push other Bills

As Congress continues stalling parliament due to National Herald Case, BJP MPs tell leaders not to allow Congress to hold govt. to ransom.

December 17, 2015 03:47 am | Updated November 29, 2021 01:12 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

After more than two weeks of trying to mollify and co-opt the Congress into helping it clear the > Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2014 , the government appeared to have turned a corner in its strategy and has decided to try and push other Bills, at least till December 19, the day Congress president > Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi will appear before a Delhi court in the National Herald case .

“When repeated overtures to the Congress on the GST Bill were not yielding any results, we sought a report from the States. Individual MPs gave the feedback that the Congress should not be allowed to hold the government to ransom on one Bill. This was conveyed to party leaders on Tuesday,” said a government floor manager.

In a meeting of senior ministers with party president Amit Shah on Tuesday a decision to revert to “the party’s natural aggression” was taken, “since the Congress was anyway determined to keep things in suspended animation till the 19th [December],” according to a senior leader.

Matters were sealed when leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge termed himself unavailable to meet government ministers on the Bill on Tuesday, despite at least three attempts by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu to do so.

On Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with senior Ministers and government floor managers to endorse this strategy. In the Rajya Sabha, where the Treasury does not enjoy a majority, the government countered the Congress’s protests by moving the SC/ ST Bill that made provisions for stricter punishment in case of atrocities against them.

Leader of the Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad, gave an assurance that the Bill would be passed. BSP chief Mayawati said she was ready to support the government in clearing the Bill.

Govternment to resort to executive route

Minister Arun Jaitley told industry leaders here on Wednesday that the government was now open to taking the executive action and money bill route to push legislation or just policy changes. The Public Procurement Bill could be one of the first to be converted to the executive route.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, had in an interview, likened the government to “ladki waala” or bride’s side in the parliamentary wedding, and the Opposition as the slightly entitled groom’s side. “It is the responsibility of the government to run Parliament,” he had said. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu vehemently objected to this characterisation. “This is Parliament, where we come together for legislative business for the country, not a wedding. In democracy, the Opposition has a say, while the government has its way,” he added.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.