"Our focus during the budget session was price rise. We
used all parliamentary provisions like suspension of Question
Hour, cut motions, walkouts and a big demonstration outside
Parliament to keep this issue alive," Leader of the Opposition
in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.
She said that while moving the cut motions against
increase in prices of petrol and diesel, BJP had intentionally
"We demanded division of votes though we knew our numbers
well. But we wanted to show the government its numbers. We
wanted to show them the mirror; that even with BSP's support
it had only 289 members in Lok Sabha. If we take out the 22
BSP members, this government will be in a minority," Swaraj
272 is the half-way mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
Swaraj claimed these key issues raised by BJP in
Parliament can now be used by the party cadre across the
country to take on the government.
She accused the government of misusing CBI to win the
support of parties like SP, RJD and BSP whose leaders are
embroiled in disproportionate assets cases.
"In BSP Chief Mayawati's case, CBI said on April 22 that
it had lots of evidence against her but four days later it
said there were no grounds for a case against her," Swaraj
She said that through the cut motions, BJP also wanted to
"expose" parties which form the "psuedo-opposition".
Swaraj said BJP did not oppose introduction of the
Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage bill in Lok Sabha today as
the party did not have the numbers.
"The Parliamentary Affairs Minister told me at 10 pm
yesterday that the government is bringing the bill today. It
was too late to issue a whip or ask all members to be
present," she said.
The main oppsition is demanding removal of the cap on
compensation to victims in the Bill.
"BJP opposed the bill when it was introduced. M M Joshi
and Yashwant Sinha spoke against it. We also staged a
walkout," the veteran leader said.
Other than issues short-listed by BJP to take on the
government, some new matters came up during the session.
"One example is the IPL issue. Though the government did
not agree to a JPC probe, union Minister Shashi Tharoor had to
resign, which was a major victory for the opposition," Swaraj
Swaraj denied BJP had been reluctant to demand the
resignation of NCP Ministers Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel.
"We said these two ministers were involved but instead of
resignation, we decided to emphasise more on the JPC demand as
we felt a probe would lead to may be six ministers being
removed instead of two," she reasoned.
Even on the issue of inclusion of caste in on-going
census, BJP said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to make a
statement on the issue in Lok Sabha today "under opposition
Asked why BJP was not very vocal in Lok Sabha on 2G
spectrum allocation issue, Swaraj argued when AIADMK members
had raised it, the full force of 115 BJP members was with
"AIADMK Chief J Jayalalithaa even called to thank me for
the support," Swaraj said.
She lamented that the Women's Reservation Bill was not
brought to the Lok Sabha after the Rajya Sabha had passed it.
"The bill seems to have been sacrificed by the government
due to its deal with SP, RJD and BSP- which were opposing it-
in return for their support for government on the cut
motions," she said.
On the issue of frequent adjournments, Swaraj said BJP
members were not to be blamed all the time as they did not go
to Parliament with this plan in mind but were forced to do so
due to government's actions.
New Delhi: Claiming victory in cornering the
government during the budget session of Parliament on issues
like price rise, IPL scam and "misuse" of CBI, BJP on Friday said
even the purpose of bringing cut motions was merely to make
UPA dispensation realise its "wafer-thin" majority.
First Published: Friday, May 07, 2010, 21:54