As a united opposition gears to corner the government in Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set the tone for the UPA's counter-attack saying the opposition has 'too many skeletons in its cupboard'— an apparent reference to the Karnataka mining scam that forced the BJP change its chief minister on Sunday.
Within minutes of Singh's remarks, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj threw a challenge: "Let us see who attacks whom from tomorrow (Monday). The government is free to bring out all the arrows in its quiver. Let us see who has more arrows."
Even as the opposition is planning to seek Singh and home minister P Chidambaram's resignation in the wake of former telecom minister A Raja's statements in the court, Singh emphasised that it is for the court to decide and his government would not buckle under the opposition pressure.
"The matter is before court. It should be left to be decided by the court and Parliament should not pre-judge the issue. I sincerely hope that these matters should be left to be decided by courts," he said, coming out of the all-party meeting convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Sunday.
Top government managers feel that the Lokayukta report on Karnataka mining scam will allow the UPA fire salvoes at the opposition when the discussion on corruption takes place. The government will table the Lokpal bill-a key anti-corruption measure-within first two working days to further emphasize its seriousness on the issue.
"We are not afraid of discussing issues of corruption," the Prime Minister said on Sunday.
The BJP, however, remained unmoved and Swaraj pointed out that "issues are decided inside Parliament not outside".
Last year's winter session was washed out due to the opposition protests on the 2G scam and assembly elections in five places forced the budget to be curtailed.
As the monsoon session is slated for six weeks, the PM expressed hope it would be "peaceful and productive".