National

BJP plans strategy to counter Opposition

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister for Communications & IT Ravi Shankar Prasad leave after a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi on Sunday.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister for Communications & IT Ravi Shankar Prasad leave after a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi on Sunday.  

Top BJP leadership summoned Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan to hear their account in the Lalit Modi and Vyapam controversies.

Gearing up for an expected Opposition offensive during the coming monsoon session of Parliament, top BJP leadership on Sunday 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.

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. 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.

Late on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi >met with cabinet colleagues to discuss the strategy. Party President Amit Shah was also present.

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. The issues will be discussed at the party’s Parliamentary Board meeting on Monday. Mr Modi has also convened a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu has called a meeting of leaders of political parties to discuss the agenda for the session. On a day of fast moving events, BJP president Amit Shah went into a huddle with a core group of Union Ministers including Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman. General secretaries Ram Lal, Kailash Vijayvargiya also participated in the meeting, which discussed a strategy for a counteroffensive in Parliament and the approach in media.

At noon, Ms. Raje drove into Mr. Shah’s Akbar Road residence. She came out 90 minutes later and went to Mr. Jaitley’s residence for a separate discussion with him. She later left for Jaipur.

Mr. Chouhan’s chartered flight to Delhi went back mid-air due to bad weather. He later took a commercial flight to keep his appointment with Mr. Shah. “The party is solidly behind both our Chief Ministers,” said Mr. Sharma after the meeting. “The Congress has not been able to provide a shred of evidence on any of the charges it has levelled against the Chief Ministers. In Vyapam the Congress went to High Court against Mr. Chouhan but the court gave him a clean chit. In fact, the Chief Minister himself had ordered the inquiry,” he said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 12:09:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/monsoon-session-bjp-plans-strategy-over-modigate-vyapam/article7440931.ece

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