An all-party meet called by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Thursday to break the parliamentary logjam saw signs of chinks in the opposition armour, with smaller regional parties like RJD and Samajwadi Party saying there were important issues they wished to discuss.
Congress maintained that Parliament can function only if the Modi government secures the resignations of BJP leaders charged with the alleged irregularities. Home minister Rajnath Singh said that he was discussing the issues with parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu and that the government would try to build a consensus.
The speaker said her meeting was an effort to control the unruly behaviour by MPs, but maintained that the target could not be achieved in just one meeting.
RJD said that it wanted to discuss the caste census, among other issues. “The stand of the Congress is ‘resignation first, debate later’. We want to debate many issues like caste census and others,” RJD leader Jai Prakash Narayan said.
Samajwadi Party leader Dharmendra Yadav said the party wanted a discussion on the land bill and the caste census, but there had been no initiatives from the ruling party. The government has rejected resignation demand but said it was ready to debate any issue in Parliament. Leader of opposition Mallikarjuna Kharge said Congress was only following the trend set by the BJP when it was in opposition.
The TRS said it would continue to stall proceedings until a high court comes up in Telangana.
JD(U) leader KC Tyagi questioned BJP’s double standards and said the logjam would not end until the Centre shifts from its current position of “no resignation”.