The gameplan of both the Congress and the BJP as this Parliament session gets underway is quite clear. Each charge will be met with a counter-charge and neither side will give in an inch.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, under a cloud for extending help to disgraced IPL czar Lalit Modi, has now said that she may expose another favour seeker from the ranks of the Congress. This will raise the level of hostilities between the Opposition and the BJP but this is something that we have come to expect going by recent experience.
The Congress is using the fact that the BJP held up Parliament during its tenure and so it was doing nothing exceptional now.
The protests against the government’s inaction on the Swaraj case, the case of impropriety on the part of Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and the scam in which Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde seems to have been involved have now spilled on to the streets.
The government’s calls for a debate have been lost in the din, thanks to constant disruptions in the House.
The Opposition is not likely to secure the resignations it wants and the resultant impasse means that no serious work can get underway. This was expected with the Congress having made its intentions clear well in advance.
The BJP should have done much more political management than it has. It has deputed party president Amit Shah to decide the strategy but it should also have deployed its veteran parliamentarians who enjoy goodwill across the political spectrum to try come to an accommodation with the Opposition and get work in the Houses moving.
Time and again, the issue of the privileges and perks of our elected representatives, including the issue of subsidised food in the Parliament canteen, has come up for criticism on the grounds that they don’t earn their keep. There is great disillusionment also among the public at the manner in which Parliament is held hostage.
For the growth that the prime minister envisages, we need to get many crucial pieces of legislation to go through. But, many of these have not even been debated in the House. Surely some via medium has to be worked out to push forward legislation.