Parliament logjam: A blessing in disguise for Modi’s BJP? | The Financial Express

Parliament logjam: A blessing in disguise for Modi’s BJP?

While a debate would have given the Opposition enough opportunity to put the government on the mat, disruptions are only giving the BJP the breathing space it needs to come up with a counter.

lok sabha budget session 2023
The lack of clarity in the Opposition's dealings is a marked departure from the UPA-II era. Image source: SansadTV

Proceedings in both houses of Parliament were disrupted for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday as Opposition parties kept up the heat against the government over their demand to constitute a Supreme Court-monitored or a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the allegations levelled against the Adani Group companies. The BJP, however, has no reason to complain.

Opposition unity devoid of unanimity on a strategy to corner the government on the Adani issue has virtually given BJP a free hand to devise a counter. Despite the display of unity on keeping the pressure on the BJP, there is an absolute lack of consensus within the Opposition camp on the ways to go about it.

Also Read: Adani-Hindenburg saga: The real risk to Modi is not the Opposition

On Monday, February 6, the Parliament was scheduled to take up the debate on the reply to the President’s address to a joint sitting of Parliament. Most Opposition leaders saw it as a great opportunity to allow the Parliament to function as it would give them the right platform to speak on the Adani matter and put the government on the mat. However, differences crept up on whether the Opposition’s strategy on whether to allow a debate or disrupt Parliament.

While one section of the Opposition including the Congress and Trinamool Congress wanted a debate in Parliament, another faction including the Bharat Rashtra Samiti, Aam Aadmi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Samajwadi Party favoured disruption, reported The Indian Express. TMC’s Derek O’Brien went a step ahead and said that any Opposition party disrupting Parliament was actually in “cahoots with the BJP”.

Also Read: Banking on the middle class: How Modi cracked the 2024 code in 2023

The lack of clarity in the Opposition’s dealings is a marked departure from the UPA-II era when one saw the BJP single-handedly bring Parliament functioning to a grinding halt while also building a perception against Congress within the public. A fractured Opposition, low in numbers and driven by its own ambitions, has failed to put up any effective challenge to the BJP on a national issue both inside and outside Parliament.

A scenario like the one playing out right now is enough to keep the BJP happy. The ruling party will also welcome the fact that shares of Adani Group companies — which went into a free fall since Hindenburg Research levelled allegations of “financial fraud and stock manipulation” in a report on January 24 — have signalled signs of a recovery on Tuesday. Ask yourself — would the concerns raised by Hindenburg matter as much if investors were to begin recovering the money they lost in the market?

Sample this: The primary argument of the Opposition is that the meltdown in Adani Group shares can severely impact common people’s savings owing to the investments by state-owned LIC and SBI in them.

On January 30, LIC said in a statement that its holding in Adani firms totalled Rs 35,917.31 crore, or less than 1 per cent of its Assets Under Management. The market value of its holding stood at a market value at  Rs 56,142 crore as on January 27. This was when the Adani Group stocks had begun to take a beating and tumbled further. With all Adani Group stocks trading in the green today, where would the Opposition’s argument stand if the trend continues?  

The Opposition has nobody but itself to blame if the Adani issue turns out to be an opportunity lost. And trust Prime Minister Narendra Modi to turn the entire line of Opposition’s attack on its head faster than the wink of an eye. By the time the Opposition wakes up and smells the coffee, the matter may well be done and dusted.

“Tata, goodbye, khatam,” as Rahul Gandhi would succinctly put it. 

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.

First published on: 07-02-2023 at 14:48 IST