Parliament impasse: Shinde meets Swaraj

With the impasse in Parliament continuing, Government today reached out to the main Opposition with Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde meeting BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, after which he hoped the matter could be resolved by Monday.

“Yes, I have talked to her a little bit,” Shinde told reporters outside Parliament while referring to his meeting with the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

Asked by when the current impasse could be resolved, the Home Minister said, “Let’s see. I hope that by Monday the matter will be resolved...I am trying to settle it by tomorrow (also). Let’s see.”

The meeting came against the backdrop of a deadlock between the government and the BJP over the CAG report on coal block allocation, with the main Opposition being adamant on its demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation.

Due to the deadlock, Parliament has failed to function for the last three days.

Earlier in the day, Shinde maintained that the government is ready for discussion.

He said, “So far their (BJP) stand is that they want to stall the House. But the government is prepared to discuss at length...unless the House starts, how can you discuss?”

Shinde said the Prime Minister himself has publicly said that he was prepared to discuss the CAG report on coal block allocation on the floor of the House.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the government had invited the BJP for talks but they did not agree.

“Do you think the answer to break the deadlock is to demand the resignation (of the Prime Minister)? They are not moving forward. Today we had invited them for talks. But they are probably not willing to talk. Perhaps they will be ready to talk on Monday,” he told reporters outside Parliament.

Mamata for all-party meeting

Amid the continuing standoff between the government and Opposition, key UPA ally Trinamool Congress on Thurday suggested that an all-party meeting should be called to defuse the crisis, saying the Opposition needs to be taken taken into confidence over the issue.

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said the Opposition has a “prerogative” to raise issues but indicated that it was for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to decide whether or not to accept the demand for his resignation.

Ms. Banerjee is slated to meet the Prime Minister on Thursday.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 11:27:18 PM |

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