Amid speculation of a possible breakthrough, Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee will meet leaders of political parties over breakfast on Monday to end the logjam over price rise discussion in Parliament.
The government and the BJP are presently deadlocked on the phraseology of the draft statement that could form the basis of a debate. The main Opposition party is insisting the draft express the concern of the House over “price rise’’ while the government wants a more neutral draft stating: “This House expresses concern at the inflationary pressure on the economy and calls upon the government to contain its impact”.
The NDA had an hour-long strategy session at BJP leader LK Advani’s residence on Sunday where they decided to attend the Monday meet and hear out the government’s proposal to end the stalemate.
Pressure is building on the government and the Opposition to get Parliament to function, especially with J&K on the boil.
The BJP has also found an issue in the spate of controversies around the Commonwealth Games and would like to raise it in Parliament.
Since the Monsoon session opened on July 26, the two Houses have been repeatedly adjourned. The BJP insisted on a debate over price rise under a rule that entails voting but the government did not accept that. Even UPA allies such as the Trinamool and supporting parties such as the RJD and the SP were privately against such a vote — despite their public demand for it — as they do not want to side either with the BJP or the UPA on the issue.
The Left, on its part, is ready for a general debate to get the House back on track. A mutually acceptable draft statement was seen as a possible option for a debate without a vote as that would express the concern of the House without criticising the government. Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, JD-U president Sharad Yadav, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, CPM leader Basudeb Acharia, RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav and others are expected to attend Monday’s meeting.