HRD Minister Kapil Sibal isolated on education bill?

The deferment of the Education Tribunal Bill might have left HRD Minister Kapil Sibal embarrassed, but the government and the Congress refused to hold senior leader K Keshav Rao or the floor management responsible for it.

Last Updated: Sep 01, 2010, 21:16 PM IST

New Delhi: The deferment of the Education
Tribunal Bill might have left HRD Minister Kapil Sibal
embarrassed, but the government and the Congress today refused
to hold senior leader K Keshav Rao or the floor management
responsible for it.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal saw
nothing wrong in either the speech of Rao who spoke against
the bill or the government`s strategy to defer the bill at the
last moment seeing the mood in the Upper House.

He insisted that the floor strategy of the government
needed to be decided taking the sense of the House. "You
cannot be foolhardy and dash against the wall," Bansal said,
adding the effort should always be to take everybody along.

The minister said, "The essence of democracy is that
MPs express their views...The same member (Keshav Rao) said
that he was not opposing the bill." He dismissed a question
whether it was embarrassing for the party and the government
as the bill had to be deferred after Rao set the tone against
the proposed legislation.

Echoing similar views, AICC General Secretary Janardan
Dwivedi too defended Rao saying "Congress was a democratic
party and considers everyone`s opinion".

A Union Minister said that any action against Rao could
raise the issue of breach of privilege of the House as the
member said that he was supporting the bill.

Congress leaders as also ministers are blaming the
minister for not accommodating the views of the Standing
Committee before bringing the bill to the Rajya Sabha. Another
section in the party, however, claims that the bill is facing
hurdles as it would hamper the interests of the education
mafia and other vested interests.

Bansal said that when he was an MP, he spoke on the
issues freely but when it came to voting, he used to follow
the party directive.

"We have a bicameral Parliament. If one bill is passed
by the Lok Sabha, members could have a different view in the
Rajya Sabha," he said, when asked whether it was a setback as
the Education Tribunal Bill has to be deferred.

Meanwhile, Sibal, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
in the aftermath of the embarrassment over the deferment of
the
key education reforms bill, said he has no issue with anybody.

"Whoever has said anything...They are people from my
party. I will not make any comments against them. They know
what their feelings are...Still I respect them," Sibal said.

He at the same time exuded confidence that the bill will
be passed by the House in the next session.

PTI