In a major blow to the UPA’s unity, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, the biggest ally of the Congress, refused to toe to Congress line to walk-out of the Rajya Sabha on Monday over the issue of price rise.
Estranged ally DMK — whose arch rival AIADMK is an outside supporter to the NDA government — also did not walk-out with the Congress.
The Congress is counting on the NCP’s support to bag the Leader of Opposition’s seat in Lok Sabha. A senior NCP leader, however, pointed out, “the UPA was formed for the governance. Now that we are out of power, Congress plans are not binding on us.”
In Lok Sabha, the Congress’ disruption washed out the day’s business as the main opposition party demanded an adjournment motion on price rise. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan started a debate on price rise but the Congress continued to raise a hue and cry over the issue.
Sources added that many Opposition parties did not approve the Congress’ approach. Congress emissary KC Venugopal met a few Opposition leaders but almost all of them asked the party to shun its methods.
“We want discussion on this serious issue of price rise. Disruption is no solution,” said CPI(M)’s MB Rajesh.
BJD leader in Lok Sabha, Bhartruhari Mahtab, said “It was highly inappropriate for the Congress to continue its disruptions even after the Speaker gave her ruling.”
Sources said that the Congress may agree to a debate on price rise without any voting on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, SP, BSP and Trinamool also walked out separately in Rajya Sabha on Monday. Trinamool said that they would also prefer a debate in the Lok Sabha on price rise.