Left joins BJP to sing chorus against UPA

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi, Oct 17 | Updated: Oct 18 2008, 07:02am hrs
In an indication of the heavy crossfire it is likely to face next week on issues like the nuclear deal, terrorism and the economic situation, the UPA government came under attack from the main opposition as well as Left parties over the manner in which it convened the parliament session that began on Friday.

Left parties joined hands with the BJP to demand a full fledged winter session, charging that the UPA government has scuttled the voice of Parliament by bringing down the sittings to a record low of 30 days so far this year. The tensions between the UPA and opposition was evident at an all party meeting convened by speaker Somnath Chatterjee, where leader of Opposition LK Advani questioned the status, timing and schedule of the current session of parliament.

The session, scheduled to last till November 21, has been designated as the second phase of the July special session convened for the confidence vote of the government. NDA leaders stated in the meeting that they would bring up issues like rising inflation, financial crisis, and terrorism, among others, in this session.

Left parties also moved a breach of privilege motion against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for violating the promise he made in Lok Sabha that he would come back to Parliament before operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal.

We have submitted the breach of privilege motion with the Speaker. It will come up before the House on Monday. Lets see what decision the Speaker takes on the issue, CPI(M) parliamentary party leader Basudev Acharia said.

The Prime Minister, however, did not seem unnerved, maintaining that the UPA was ready for a discussion on any subject concerning his government. We are prepared to discuss all issues concerned, he said.

Speaking to reporters, Advani, on the other hand, questioned the logic of having a session when assembly polls had been declared in five states and that of J&K may be announced soon. He also objected to the session being held in the midst of the festive season. We dont want to be told midway that the Parliament is being adjourned due to assembly elections, Advani said.

The CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters that the jettisoning of monsoon session was unheard of and said all sessions were held even during Emergency days, though in truncated form.

Yechury also raised objections over Prime Minister Singhs scheduled visits to China and Japan in the midest of the parliament session. There is no harm in visiting friendly countries, but when several issues of national interest need to be discussed then the PMs presence is important to answer them. We will not allow the dignity of Parliament to be undermined, he said.