On the backfoot over the controversies surrounding former cricket administrator Lalit Modi, the government is banking its reforms agenda on the possibility that the Congress may not be able to sustain its anti-government campaign over the three weeks leading to Parliament’s monsoon session.
The Congress had earlier indicated that it may go to the extent of blocking the 24-day long session, beginning July 20, if Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj are not removed from their posts for helping Modi on various counts.
“The Congress’ case against the two leaders is weak. They have been unable to produce any credible evidence against them. They have also realised it, which is why they are now sidetracking from the issues they raised first to seek their resignation. The campaign will blow over, and we hope to having a meaningful session,” a senior cabinet minister told HT.
A bill to amend the land acquisition act of 2013 and another to introduce the goods and services tax — two key reform agendas of the Narendra Modi government — are amongst those slotted for the monsoon session of Parliament.
While the select committee has sought more time to study the land bill, the select committee on GST has almost completed its job.
The GST bill, government sources claim, could be taken up if the situation permits. There are reports that the government may take up the land bill in Parliament only after the September-October polls in Bihar.
The government seems to prefer facing a logjam in Parliament than sack Swaraj and Raje. “The government’s image has certainly taken a beating. But, we cannot throw popular leaders out like that,” another BJP leader said.