The Congress and CPI (M) had put the onus of breaking the Parliament logjam over the incumbent Modi government. While the Congress on Saturday insisted on its demands of ousting the three top BJP leaders, the CPI (M) blamed the BJP-led NDA government for disrupting the Houses.
The ruling NDA government had called for an all-party meeting on Monday before both the houses resumed work in the ongoing Monsoon session.
Spelling the stand of Congress party, Leader of Opposition in the upper house Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday said, “We have no objection to holding discussions to break the logjam, but it should be based on what action is taken against Union Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam”.
“It (the three BJP leaders’ fate) should be on the agenda for the discussions,” said Azad reiterating what he had said on the floor of Rajya Sabha on Friday.
The principal opposition party had on Friday made it clear that its participation in an all-party meeting to break the deadlock depended on a “tangible” proposal from the Prime Minister on the opposition’s demands.
On its part, the CPI (M) also took a hard line accusing the Narendra Modi government of trying to escape from accountability behind the veil of conducting a ‘debate for debate’s sake’.
“The opposition correctly maintains that a parliamentary discussion cannot be a substitute for an investigation. These are serious charges that need to be investigated at the highest level,” party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said.
Sticking to its demand for the resignation of the concerned BJP leaders, Mr. Yechury reiterated that resignation was necessary for an impartial investigation into the charges against them.
“Till such an investigation continues, as is the norm for any government servant, the accused demits office in order to ensure strict impartiality. It is precisely this that is being asked of this BJP government,” Sitaram Yechury said.
Reacting on the BJP’s charge that the opposition was avoiding debate in the Parliament, Yechury said, “Parliament can only ensure executive accountability through effective legislative scrutiny, not through a debate but by pressurising the executive to order an investigation into the allegations”.
The left front leader also took on the BJP, accusing the ruling party of “duplicity”.
“We can go back even earlier to expose the BJP’s current duplicity. Atal Bihari Vajpayee in December 1995 said, ‘We don’t want a debate for debate’s sake’ demanding the resignation of then Communication minister Sukh Ram.”
Criticising the Prime Minister over the alleged scam, which has been plaguing the government inside and outside the Parliament, Mr. Yechury pointed out that the recent revelations in the Lalit Modi scam, the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, the involvement of two BJP ministers in scams in Maharashtra and the public distribution system connected scams in BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh have “busted the myth” of Narendra Modi’s ‘corruption-free government’.
(With inputs from the PTI)