Anticipating a heated and a possible Monsoon session washout, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached out to the Opposition at an all-party meeting and said it was the responsibility of every leader to run the House. The Modi government is facing a difficult time as its senior leaders are embroiled in various controversies and the Opposition is in no mood to relent.
“The government has to take initiative and responsibility to run Parliament, but this responsibility has to be shared by all. Parliament has a major significance and it should be utilised to discuss all issues. The government is ready to discuss all issues,” Modi told leaders of all parties. Many key bills are pending in Parliament to be passed which includes Land Acquisition Bill, Anti-Black Money Bill, Goods and Services Tax Bill.
Even though it is very unlikely that Parliament will take up Land Bill as the Joint Parliamentary Panel is yet to submit its report, Modi said, “We should move forward on Land Bill.” The all-party meet was called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
Meanhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to completely support its leaders who are embroiled in the multi-crore Vyapam scam and Lalit Modi row, said sources. On Sunday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and his Rajasthan counterpart Vasundhara Raje met senior party leaders and presented all facts, so that the party can defend them, the sources said. The Prime Minister has also called for a meeting of all NDA constituents ahead of the monsoon session. The session will be held from July 21 to August 3.
The BJP had held a crisis management meeting in the national capital over the controversies that have engulfed the party’s two regional stalwarts. The meeting was held at BJP chief Amit Shah’s residence, and was attended by Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Venkaiah Naidu, MA Naqvi and Piyush Goyal.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is under fire over the multi-crore Vyapam in which at least 49 people have died. The Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam relates to irregularities in admission in state-run medical colleges and recruitment in government jobs. Union Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara came under opposition’s attack over allegedly helping former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi. While Swaraj claimed to have no objection to Lalit Modi’s request to travel out of UK, Raje allegedly helped him to get the UK stay permit.
Besides pressing for the 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.