Differences between Cong and regional parties raise govt hopes

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 24, 2015 09:17 IST
Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge in Lok Sabha in New Delhi. Key opposition parties, including the Congress, on Thursday boycotted the NDA government’s first invite for talks to break the deadlock in Parliament’s monsoon session. (PTI Photo)

The regional satraps, who command a key space in the Opposition camp, have kept both the BJP and the Congress guessing on their next move in Parliament.

This uncertainty among the large number of regional outfits to toe the Congress line has given a fresh lease of hope in the ruling dispensation that they may turn around and press for resumption of smooth proceedings of Parliament if the Congress’ strategy of disruptions stretches beyond the second week of the session.

On Thursday, several regional parties rejected the invitation of the BJP leadership to sit for an informal, back-channel meeting to resolve the deadlock.

But minutes later, when Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi called a meeting of Opposition parties to discuss the strategy, only the AAP and the NCP leaders responded.

Getting Arvind Kejriwal’s party in a Congress-led meeting is seen as a major achievement as the two parties are bête noire in politics of National Capital Region. But parties like Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, BJD, AIADMK, DMK are still maintaining a distance from the Congress, even as they are protesting against the BJP on the issue of corruption.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav clarified that while his party wants the two BJP CMs to go, his party will not attack Sushma Swaraj.

“We do not think she committed any wrong,” said SP general secretary Kiranmay Nanda.

Trinamool, too, gave mixed signals to both sides. While it opposes the Congress’ strategy of “first resignation, then session”, Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha leader Derek O’Brien said, “We are part of the larger Opposition bloc. We are playing the role of a constructive Opposition force.”

The BJD, another key opposition force, wants Smriti Irani to resign over her education qualification row and has already shifted goal post on the demand for Sushma Swaraj’s resignation.

Earlier, the party maintained that they will not target her. But now it wants a debate to decide if she should resign or not.

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