No immediate end is in sight for the tug of war between the opposition and the treasury benches of Parliament over the government’s demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
The BJP parliamentary board met on Tuesday morning and so did the opposition leaders to discuss their strategy in the Houses, which have not seen any progress in Parliament’s winter session so far.
There were hints from the government that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may speak in Parliament - a demand made by the opposition - to end the deadlock that has not allowed the session to run.
This offer, however, did not cut much ice with the opposition that shifted the goalpost to asking for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on demonetisation before it could allow works to resume.
Opposition is changing tactic every day. If seems they want to avoid a debate.
“Opposition is changing tactic every day,” a minister said. “If seems they want to avoid a debate.”
Opposition demand for a JPC to look into the situation leading to demonetisation and, what it believes is, the failure in its implementation is driven by an assessment that the euphoria over the anti-black money move is dying down and restlessness setting in among public.
Government leaders, including the Prime Minister, have argued that they have nothing to hide. But, the treasury side has ruled out a JPC.
The argument: Demonetisation is not a scam but a bid in right earnest to curb black money and address the ills plaguing the economy.
Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asked the Congress why it was scared to debate and whether it was supporting the hoarders or black money.
More than two weeks are still left to the winter session and the government wants to transact some business, including passage of the amendment to income tax law that puts a heavy penalty on those have undisclosed income.
That would be in a serious trouble if the opposition refuses to relent.