Led by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi nearly 80 Congress MPs decided not to draw their daily allowance from November 10, the day from which Parliament has been adjourning over the telecom scandal.
They wrote to the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to convey their decision. As the Congress has 278 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs, more are expected to follow suit. The party will also ask its allies to do the same. Members get R2000 as daily allowance.
The stand is expected to help the Congress reclaim moral ground, pin the blame on the Opposition for stalling Parliament and counter charges that it is afraid of facing a JPC probe on corruption. The BJP dismissed the move as a “diversionary tactics.’’
On Friday, the Congress Core Group, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gandhi, took stock of the parliamentary stalemate. While ruling out a JPC probe, sources talked of proposing an alternative mechanism, like an inquiry by a parliamentary committee without powers of summoning the PM or ministers or a judicial inquiry.
Paraliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal alleged that the Opposition was waging a “political battle’’ as it wanted to summon the PM and other ministers. “The best course would be to discuss the issue in the House. The PM can intervene and reply,’’ he said.