Govt, Opposition clamour to claim victory

With the government and the opposition agreeing to discuss "inflation" after a week-long standoff in Parliament, the clamour for claiming victory on the issue began between the two sides.

New Delhi: With the government and the
opposition agreeing to discuss "inflation" after a week-long
standoff in Parliament, the clamour for claiming victory on
the issue began between the two sides.

The ruling side insisted that the government had
triumphed as it did not concede to the opposition demand for a
division of votes in both Houses of Parliament.

"Even the idea of a resolution was floated by the
government and the final draft, which was agreed to by all the
parties, has hardly undergone any change," said a senior
Congress MP.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh initiated the proposal
of passing a resolution to end the impasse over opposition`s
demand for a discussion on price rise issue under a rule that
entails voting when he brought it up during a meeting with
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj last weekend. Home Minister
P Chidambaram was present during this meeting.

Leader of the House in Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee then
had a telephonic conversation with Swaraj on Saturday. He then
sent her the draft of the proposed resolution, the sources
said.

However, the opposition wanted some changes to be made
in the draft and this was discussed in the all-party meeting
today morning.

The final draft of the resolution agreed to by
political parties at an all-party meeting convened by
Mukherjee and which will be accepted in the Lok Sabha tomorrow
and in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday reads:

"This House expresses concern over inflationary
presssure in the economy and calls upon the government to take
further action in order to contain its adverse impact on the
common man."

The opposition wanted inclusion of the term "price
rise" in the resolution but the government did not agree to it
and insisted that the term "inflationary pressure" be used.

"We wanted that the term common man be included in the
resolution which the government agreed to. The government
suggested that the term `urge` be changed to `call upon the
government` and we agreed," Swaraj said.

The government also prevailed over the opposition in
changing the term "serious concern" to "concern" in the
resolution.

In the end, the government seems to have won this
round as the discussion will be held under Rule 342 which
entails that the Leader of Opposition initiate a discussion on
the issue, followed by the reading of the resolution- that
gives the "sense of the House"- by the Chair (Speaker).

The same process shall be followed in Rajya Sabha on
Wednesday.

-PTI

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