New Delhi: A Statutory Motion moved by CPI(M) in the Rajya Sabha seeking reduction of fuel prices may test the real strength of ruling BJP in the Upper House soon after the just-ended stalemate over the Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti issue.
Government had recently increased excise duty by amending Central Excise Act and the Left party wants the duty to be brought down instead, its Parliamentary Party Leader Sitaram Yechury today said, adding that a voting on the issue will force all parties to take a stand on the sensitive issue.
"It (Statutory Motion) has to be disposed of. Either I withdraw or the House rejects it and that has to be done through vote," he said at a press conference.
The Government does not enjoy a majority in Rajya Sabha and opposition parties there have often tried to corner it over several issues due to its numerical weakness.
Yechury said petrol and diesel prices would be around Rs 40 and Rs 35 respectively if government had passed on the benefits of fall in international crude price to consumers and not allowed private companies to make a "windfall of profits".
He said his party along with JD(U) and SP has also given note of dissent over the report of Select Committee on Insurance Bill. The bill seeks to raise the FDI cap in the sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.
Noting that the "bill will see light of the day" only if Congress, which is the largest bloc in Rajya Sabha, supports it, he said they will seek a division of votes.
Though he expressed his "agreement in principle" over the government's proposal to move a censure motion in Lok Sabha against TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee for his alleged derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he accused government of "duplicity".
Raking up Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti controversy, he said government opposed a similar motion against the minister for her use of objectionable language.
Taking a dig at Modi, he said the standoff in the Upper House over the issue exposed the real size of "56 inch", a reference to the Prime Minister, and government could have saved working days and public money if they had agreed to it demand earlier.
The truce between ruling and opposition parties arrived after they decided that Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari would endorse Modi's statement in the House to end the impasse as well as make a fresh appeal on behalf of the House to "all members of Parliament, ministers and leaders of all political parties to maintain civility at all costs in public discourse".
Government had instead termed it a "face-saver" for the opposition, whose protests had caused a wash-out of proceedings in the first week of the session.