UPA should hold wider consultation on Par business: JD-U



New Delhi: With the government signalling its resolve to carry out legislative business in Parliament despite the deadlock, opposition JD-U today said that ruling alliance must ensure "wider consultation" on bills like those on land acquisition and food security.

"I want to caution the government not to rush through bills like on land acquisition and food security on the pretext of deadlock in Parliament. Such deadlocks have happened earlier also.

"There are many members in Parliament who are concerned about these bills. The government should move forward on these bills only after wider consultations," JD-U chief Sharad Yadav told reporters here.

The government, he said, can either go for an all-party meeting to discuss these issues or consult the experts and farmer leaders in Parliament individually before making any forward movement.

Yadav, who is also the convenor of NDA, said that his party is with the alliance' decision on the coal blocks allocation issue but remained evasive on whether he was demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister on the matter.

"We are with NDA's decision. It is NDA's collective decision. In a meeting, many people say many things. But once a decision is taken, it is taken. BJP is the largest party in the NDA alliance and it has taken a decision. We are with it.

Sushama Swaraj and Arun Jaitley have explained the decision. The statements of others suggesting any rift in the alliance should be ignored," the JD-U chief said.

Yadav, at the same time, pointed out that CAG has pointed out irregularities in not only coal blocks issue but also in aviation and power. "We should not forget that CAG has given three reports," he said, adding that JPC and PAC are Parliamentary institutions and to say that no result comes out of them is "unfortunate".

Yadav's comments are significant as they come in the backdrop of reports of unease within the JD-U on BJP's stand on disrupting Parliament and some other parties not backing NDA in this regard.

A senior JD-U leader, speaking separately on the condition of anonymity, however, said, "CAG report is not the gospel truth. If it was so why there has been a provision to put it before Parliament."

He favoured a debate on CAG's findings, saying this would give an impression of a united opposition as others like Left parties also want it.

The JD-U President hit out at the government saying coal blocks were allotted to relatives of ministers.

"The relatives of the ministers are being allotted coal blocks. It is weird. Is it happening in any other country? The minister writes a letter today and the coal blocks are allotted the second day.

"What a surprise. We keep writing letters and no action is taken," Yadav said in an apparent reference to the controversy surrounding a letter purportedly written by Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay to the Prime Minister on the coal issue.

BJP has produced a letter purportedly written by Sahay on February 5, 2008 seeking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's "personal intervention" in an application for two coal blocks for a company.

Asked whether he justifies BJP's demand for the Prime Minister's resignation, Yadav pointed out that he and BJP leader Advani had resigned after Hawala reports.

"NDA is saying this keeping in mind the traditions of moral values for which there are such instances in the national politics," he said.

PTI