The Congress is likely to move an adjournment motion on the Vyapam scam in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday and hold a sit-in of party MPs inside the Parliament complex as it tries to corner the government over a string of corruption charges.
Sources said Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi could participate in the dharna as the party appeared in no mood to let the government pass key reform bills.
The decision to focus on the Vyapam scandal was taken at a meeting of Sonia and Rahul with party MPs. Sonia told the legislators the scam in Madhya Pradesh would be the top issue, followed by the Lalit Modi controversy.
She also identified the alleged rice scam in Chhattisgarh and told party parliamentarians to raise the issues of price rise and farmer suicides, after the party forced a series of adjournments in the Rajya Sabha.
Rahul stressed on maximum attendance of Lok Sabha MPs at a time when the party, reduced to just 44 MPs in the lower House, is struggling to remain the principal Opposition party with AIADMK (37 MPs), TMC (34)and BJD (20).
Rahul told the MPs that everyone should be present each day and added, “We have to show them (the BJP) our strength.”
The Congress’ strategy to pick the Vyapam scam as its top issue is carefully crafted as it senses support from some other Opposition parties. “We are not with the Congress. We do not want to disturb Sushma Swaraj. But we want the resignation of Chouhan and Raje,” SP general secretary Kiranmoy Nanda said.
Minutes after Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said he wanted to discuss Robert Vadra’s land deals, the Congress president’s son-in-law hit back. “Parliament begins and so does their petty diversion political tactics. People of India are not fooled. Regret to see India led by such so called leaders,” he said in a Facebook post.