No Sonia plan for session straegy with non-NDA parties

 Congress President Sonia Gandhi has no plans as of now to convene a meeting of non-NDA parties ahead of the Budget session of Parliament starting Feb 23 though the Opposition is raring to rake up issues against the government.

PTI| Updated: Feb 19, 2015, 23:47 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi has no plans as of now to convene a meeting of non-NDA parties ahead of the Budget session of Parliament starting Feb 23 though the Opposition is raring to rake up issues against the government.

Party sources said that Gandhi has so far not initiated any plans for an opposition meet to decide the floor strategy in the three-month long session in which the first full- fledged Budget of the Narendra Modi government will be presented.

Congress will only hold its strategy meeting before the session, the sources said.

Opposition has remained disparate in the 15th Lok Sabha with Congress failing to secure even enough numbers to get the Leader of the Opposition post in the Lower House. It has got just 44 seats in the 543-member House

AIADMK, TMC and BJD have a total of 91 members. AIADMK has 37 MPs while BJD has 20 legislators. TMC has 34 MPs.

With no dominant opposition party, the opposition space has remained divided in this Lok Sabha and there has been no meeting of non-NDA parties since the new government took over in May last.

Congress sources also discounted reports that government has approached it ahead of the session to seek its cooperation on crucial bills.

Several opposition parties including the Congress, JD-U and the Left are likely to make a common cause in opposing the controversial Land Acquisition ordinance. Government is bringing as many as six bills to replace ordinances in the session.

Congress has already declared that it will strongly oppose the land ordinance contending that interests of farmers and livelihood losers will be "completely eliminated" if it becomes law as it reopens the route for forcible acquisition.

BJP has secured majority on its own in the Lok Sabha, becoming the first national party to do so after 30 years and thereby ending the coalition era. Along with its allies in the NDA, it has good numbers in the Lower House.

Government managers are however facing problems in the Rajya Sabha where the NDA does not enjoy majority and parties like Congress have substantial numbers.

In the last Parliament session, the opposition had in the Rajya Sabha cornered the Centre on various issues, including the re-conversions and controversial speeches by BJP MPs.

BJP's poll debacle in Delhi has already emboldened the non-NDA parties.

Anna Hazare is launching his agitation against the land ordinance here on the opening day of the Budget session.

With Assembly elections in Bihar scheduled this year, the JD-U and the RJD are expected to be aggressive so also the Trinamool Congress and the Left in view of West Bengal polls next year.

Developments in the Saradha chit fund scam has already angered the TMC.

The talk in political circles is that the Congress could face isolation if it takes a stand different from non-NDA parties.