Cong sticks to ‘first resignation,then discussion’

RSTV Bureau

BJP-leader-in-Rajya-SabhaDay three of the monsoon session of Parliament was no different. The Upper House again saw heated exchanges between the Opposition and the government over Lalit Modi row and Vyapam controversy. Post lunch the House was adjourned for the day following ruckus.

While the Opposition led by the Congress pressed for suspension of business to discuss the issues and seek resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley rebutted the notice given by Congress leader Anand Sharma, saying it only sought a discussion without any condition or caveat like resignation of any minister.

“His notice today does not say the ministers must resign. His notice must be admitted and discussion should begin immediately,” said Jaitley while countering Opposition’s argument and displaying a copy of the notice.

The government categorically denied resignation of any minister and pushed for a discussion for the issue.

Sharma and other Opposition members including Sitaram Yechury of CPIM and Naresh Agarwal of the Samajwadi Party said they had given notice under rule 267 for suspension of business to take up discussion on the issue.

“Your condition or caveat is something that I cannot implement… I know your notice was with condition but that condition is not within my powers to implement. I can only take note of what is within my powers, that is discussion,” Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien said.

The Opposition has been gunning for BJP ministers Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje for their alleged involvement in helping former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi. Congress also demands the resignation of and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam in his state. Congress’ strategy has been consistent so far – ‘first resignation, then discussion.’

Congress members remained unrelenting and moved into aisles shouting slogans seeking dismissal of the ‘tainted’ministers. BJP members countered Opposition chargers and this led to the House being adjourned for the day.