The sloppy floor management of UPA-II in Parliament in the past has forced Congress president Sonia Gandhi to take charge during the budget session. It was due to the poor floor management that the Congress-led UPA government failed to get the Constitution (116th amendment) Bill, which sought to give the lokpal constitutional status, passed in Lok Sabha during the winter session.
Putting the onus on floor managers, several Congress leaders had argued that the bill should not have been tabled in the absence of required number of members. Again the Lokpal Bill, which was passed in Lok Sabha, got stuck in Rajya Sabha. But Gandhi has stepped in the budget session. She is personally overseeing the floor coordination. Her active participation saw the UPA government defeat the opposition amendments to the motion of thanks on the President’s address.
Gandhi was seen giving last -minute directions to her party colleagues, especially parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. Bansal, on the directions of Gandhi, went up to Samajwadi Party members to persuade them. They reciprocated by voting with the government. The help came from BSP and Trinamool MPs too. Gandhi was also seen in consultations with party ministers in Lok Sabha on Tuesday during a debate on the Team Anna’s derogatory remarks against members of parliament.
She had intense discussions with Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram, Bansal and NCP chief Sharad Pawar. They later spoke to BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and LK Advani, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav and CPM’s Basudeb Acharia. It was after these parleys that the idea of a resolution against Team Anna members was dropped.