Chidambaram reaches out to BJP ahead of Parliament session
New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram has reached out to the top brass of main Opposition BJP ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament to ensure smooth sailing for himself and some of the Bills he intends to get passed.
Chidambaram met Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley today in the latter's Parliament office and discussed some of the important Bills he plans to move in this session. He is also understood to have discussed other issues that are likely to figure in the 20-day session.
The new Finance Minister had earlier met NDA Working Chairperson and BJP Parliamentary Party head L K Advani at the latter's residence on Sunday for the same purpose. He is also likely to meet Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, sources said.
However, these overtures may not work to Chidambaram's advantage at least in the initial days of the monsoon session as the BJP and some NDA allies may target him on the Aircel- Maxis issue. Chidambaram had faced attacks on the issue in the last session as his kin had allegedly benefited from the controversial deal.
BJP-led NDA may try to disrupt proceedings in the first few days on this issue and make Chidambaram the main target of their attack.
Chidambaram had faced Opposition boycott in both Houses of Parliament during the last winter session when he was the Home Minister. BJP has charged him of complicity in the 2G spectrum allocation scam as he was the Finance Minister in UPA-I when the deal was done. Then Telecom Minister A Raja had said that the Finance Minister was kept in the loop during the allocation process.
Chidambaram has set the wheels of change in motion in the Finance Ministry since he took over on July 31. He is looking into the retrospective taxation and GAAR, among other issues.