New Delhi: Concerned over disruptions by the
opposition in Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday
held a strategy meeting with his senior colleagues in an
apparent move to get the monsoon session back on track.
Meeting in the absence of party chief Sonia Gandhi, the
Congress Core Group held consultations at a time when
Parliament has been stalled over various issues raised by the
Opposition, including the CAG report on alleged irregularities
in conduct of the Commonwealth Games.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P
Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K Antony and Political
Secretary to the Congress president Ahmed Patel were among
those present at the meeting.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal was
also present at the meeting so also was his deputy Rajiv
A section in the government as also Congress is wary of
the moves of the Opposition, especially BJP, to stall
Parliament repeatedly. Since the monsoon session started on
August one, half of the time of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya
Sabha has been lost due to disruptions over one issue or
With most of the official business pending, including
passage of at least 30 bills, government`s new strategy could
be to ensure getting through as many legislations as possible
even if the opposition fails to cooperate fully.
Bansal wanted the Opposition to take a leaf out of
British Parliament. "Look at Westminster, how they plan to
dispassionately discuss situation when 500 people have been
arrested in the wake of rioting in some parts of Britain,"
Shukla accused the Opposition of not being sensitive to
the problems of the people at a time when there are problems
in the global economy.
"If the bills related to economic reforms are not
cleared, country`s economy may go down. This will have an
adverse impact on the people," he said.
Government sources said a section of the Opposition was
not happy with BJP`s attempts to disrupt Parliament at the
drop of a hat.
Official sources said Chidambaram was ready to respond to
BJP in Parliament on the issue of baton charge against
Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha activists in the capital yesterday
but the main Opposition did not allow Parliament to run.
Government is expected to have talks with the presiding
officers as also the Opposition to get Parliament going,
"The Opposition is not letting Parliament run and on the
most frivolous ground. Parliament must run and transact the
business," Bansal said.
"At present, we only want, we only appeal to the
opposition again please come to the House now. Don`t stall the
House. Don`t make it a regular practice. We had enough of it.
If there is a reason, please tell us, we will address
those reasons," he said.
Asked whether government is planning to cut short the
Parliament session, Bansal said "there is no question of
shortening of session at the moment".