Prospect of an immediate end to the parliamentary logjam appeared bleak today with both government and Congress sticking to their guns ahead of an all-party meeting on Monday.
After Congress insisted that its demand of action against BJP leaders should be on the meet’s agenda, the government appeared unlikely to oblige the opposition with Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad repeating its earlier stand that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was ready to make a statement and state issues cannot be discussed in Parliament.
The main opposition party has demanded that Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Swaraj resign for their alleged role in Lalit Modi controversy and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister quit over the Vyapam scam.
“Sushma ji has been ready to make a statement in Parliament from the first day (of monsoon session). As far Vyapam issue is concerned, Congress may forget it but the country must know that issues of states are not debated in Parliament,” Prasad told reporters at a briefing.
BJP sources said the government had done all it could to end the logjam with Prime Minister Narendra Modi also reaching out to opposition leaders.
Prasad’s comments came after Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the proposed all-party meeting should be based on what action is taken against Swaraj, Raje and Chouhan.
“It (the three BJP leaders’ fate) should be on the agenda for the discussions,” said Azad, emphasising that Congress was keen on the passage of important Bills in the current session of Parliament, which has faced disruptions for the last two weeks.
Congress had yesterday made it clear that its participation in an all-party meeting to break the deadlock depended on a “tangible” proposal from the Prime Minister on the opposition’s demands.