The second half of the budget session appeared to be headed for a washout on Tuesday with the BJP demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister over the government’s alleged interference in the CBI status report in the coal scam, which was outrightly rejected by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Both Houses failed to transact any business during the day and the Rajya Sabha even failed to resume the discussion on safety of women which had remained inconclusive on Monday.
The BJP increased its attack on the government and sought the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and dismissal of law minister Ashwani Kumar for the latter’s alleged interference in the status report of the CBI in the coal scam, which is to be submitted in the Supreme Court.
The BJP demand for Singh’s resignation was shot down by Gandhi. “Let them ask”, was her terse response when approached by reporters for her comments on the issue after a meeting of the Congress core group.
BJP was on the offensive soon after both Houses met in the morning as its members trooped into the well raising slogans like “Pradhan Mantri Isteefa do (Prime Minister resign)” and “kanoon mantri ko barkhast karo (sack law minister).” They were joined by other opposition members. When the Lok Sabha met at noon after the first adjournment, BJP, Trinamool, SP and Left members trooped into the well raising slogans.
A group of Congress members raised vociferous slogans and waved placards demanding a separate Telangana state.
Left MPs shouted slogans against “state-sponsored violence” in West Bengal. DMK members also raised the issue of former telecom minister A Raja not being allowed to depose before the Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the 2G scam.
The government faces the challenge of getting the mandatory financial legislations - railways appropriation bill and the finance bill -- passed before the current session ends on May 10.
House panel pins down central govt
In a scathing attack on coal block allocations made by various Central governments since 1993, a Parliamentary Panel said in clear terms that there was a “total abuse of power by the government” even as it demanded immediate scrapping of mines where coal production had not yet started. Slamming coal mine allocations between 1993 and 2010 as “largesse distributed to a few” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Coal and Steel said “several coal blocks were allocated to a few fortunate without disclosing the same to the public at large.”