NDA to boycott Rail Budget today

New Delhi, Feb 25 | Updated: Feb 26 2005, 05:30am hrs
Continuing its offensive against the issue of tainted ministers in the UPA government, the NDA decided to boycott the Railway Budget to be presented in Parliament by railway minister Lalu Prasad on Saturday. However, they would take part in the discussions following the presentation of the railway budget.

The decision to boycott the railway budget was taken at a meeting of NDA leaders chaired by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The meeting was attended by representatives of all the NDA constituents, including NDA convenor George Fernandes, JD-U leaders Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav, BJP president LK Advani and party leaders Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha, BJ Panda (BJD), SS Dhindsa (SAD), Ananth Geethe (Shiv Sena). The meeting was also attended by TDPs Yerran Naidu from the viewpoint of floor coordination.

After the meeting, BJP parliamentary spokesman VK Malhotra told mediapersons that the NDA had also decided to move an adjournment motion on the dismissal of Manohar Parrikar government in Goa on March 1.

Stating that they were only going as per the Supreme Courts judgement, Mr Malhotra said, Parliament must decide about the issue of tainted ministers, and till a debate followed by a decision was arrived at, the NDA would continue to boycott all major statements by tainted ministers. When reminded that the NDA had not boycotted Mr Prasads statements in the previous parliamentary session, Mr Malhotra said that they had heard the minister on the Punjab rail mishap as it was an exception, as many people had lost their lives in that accident.

He also added that the NDA would register its protest against the illegal and immoral setting up of the UC Banerjee Committee on the Sabarmati train fire in Godhra, and would demand that the findings of the Nanavati Commission report on the 1984 anti-Sikh riot be placed in the House along with the Godhra report.