The stage appears set for fireworks in Parliament when it convenes for the Monsoon Session as both the government and the opposition have hardened their positions on issues like resignations of ministers, Land Bill, among others.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Monday, said, “We are ready to discuss issues that the opposition wants to raise. The question of resignation does not arise, no Union minister has done anything illegal or immoral.”
“Parliament is sovereign, there is no question of accepting any ultimatum,” he stressed.
His comments came even as Opposition parties led by Congress appear to be in no mood to let the Modi government off the hook. The Opposition is attempting to forge unity on the floor of the House to corner the government on key issues including the Vyapam scam, Lalit Modi controversy and the Socio Economic and Caste Census.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chaired an all-party meet where he issued an appeal to utilise Parliament time for discussing all issues and said running both the Houses is a shared responsibility of all.
The Prime Minister asked them to collectively move forward on issues discussed in the last session while keeping the country’s interest in mind.
The BJP has given clear indications that it will brazen it out in Parliament. The party has decided against being defensive over the controversies related to Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Yesterday, BJP chief Amit Shah held strategy meetings with various party colleagues, including union ministers Arun Jaitley, Swaraj, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Piyush Goyal as well as party spokespersons during which Raje, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, was also present.
Besides pressing for removal of Swaraj, Opposition has indicated that it will also target HRD Minister Smriti Irani, who is facing charges related to an educational certificate.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh may also be targeted in connection with a rice scam.
The ruling BJP, on its part, is likely to train its guns on Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh of Congress, who is embroiled in a disproportionate assets case.
While the BJP-led NDA commands an absolute majority in Lok Sabha, it lacks numbers in the Upper House where Congress is the largest party and holds key to the passage of the crucial legislations, including GST and land bill.
Senior NDA ministers had, last week, held a meeting to chalk out the strategy for pushing the government’s legislative business in view of the Opposition parties closing ranks on various issues.