Oppn unity in tatters; BJP and Left trade charges

Opposition unity on Thursday appeared to be in tatters with the Left parties accusing BJP of working in tandem with the government.

New Delhi: Opposition unity on Thursday appeared
to be in tatters with the Left parties accusing BJP of working
in tandem with the government while the principal opposition
was at pains to explain that it stayed true to its word and
the Left had backed out.
At a media interaction, an agitated Leader of the
Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj insisted that from the
first day of the winter session of Parliament BJP had been
making all efforts to ensure that the opposition was united
and Parliament runs smoothly.

Accusing both the government and Left parties of not
keeping their word on making efforts to run the House and
having a debate on black money, Swaraj said BJP had reached
out to both and tried to find a way out.

"Yesterday I talked to Parliamentary Affairs Minister
Pawan Kumar Bansal and told him that the government has not
accepted a single adjournment motion in the 15th Lok Sabha
though 7-8 such motions were accepted in the 14th Lok Sabha
and even during the NDA government," Swaraj said.

With the aim of ending the stalemate and having a debate
on black money in Parliament, Swaraj even conceded to the
government demand for a change in the wording of the
adjournment motion.
"The government wanted us to drop the words `due to
government failure` and replace it with `situation arising out
of` in the resolution. I discussed this with BJP leaders L K
Advani and Arun Jaitley and Left leaders Gurudas Dasgupta and
Basudev Acharia and when they agreed I gave my nod," she said.

Miffed at the Left`s charge that BJP and government were
working "in tandem", Swaraj said the two Left leaders had even
asked her to fax the adjournment motion resolution and said
they would move the same in their name as well today.

Swaraj said as per the agreement reached between the
government and BJP, Advani today moved an adjournment motion
in Lok Sabha for a discussion on black money. The Left moved
the same motion.

"Even today at 10 am this was again agreed to by the
government and the Left. However, when there was pandemonium
in the House and it did not run, I went to the Speaker. A
meeting was held in which Bansal, Pranab Mukherjee, Dasgupta,
Acharia, Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP), Lalu Prasad (RJD) and Dara
Singh Chauhan (BSP) were present," Swaraj said.

In the meeting, Yadav suggested all parties were more
interested in having a debate on price rise and black money
could be discussed on Monday (November 28). Swaraj maintained
this was agreed to by her as well as the Left.

"The decision to have a discussion was taken in the
presence of these leaders. Government promised that it would
control the Telangana MPs during the debate. But when the
debate began and TRS and eight Congress MPs from Telangana
created an uproar, no cabinet minister was present," she said.

BJP claimed it wanted the House to run yesterday also but
Left parties insisted on moving the adjournment motion on
price rise again and it conceded in order to keep intact
opposition unity.

"And for the House not functioning today, Congress is
solely responsible and it seems it does not want the House
to run. Congress is not able to manage the floor or control
its own members (from Telangana)," Swaraj said.

Asked if a change in the wording of the adjournment
motion on black money would have diluted its stand, the Leader
of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said "the content of
our speeches in the House would have covered everything."