Parliament logjam: 25 suspended MPs to return, fresh protests likely

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 10, 2015 09:29 IST

The 25 suspended Congress MPs will return to the Lok Sabha on Monday as the monsoon session of Parliament enters its last week.

Even as the BJP managers tried to reach out to the Opposition parties to pass, at least, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, there are apprehensions of a fresh round of protests.

Union minister of state for environment and forest, Prakash Javadekar alleged during a press conference that the Congress is trying hard to block the nation's development by creating a logjam situation in Parliament.

"One of the main reason why the Congress does not allow Parliament to function because its leaders have decided to stall India's development. They are trying hard to ensure that the GST Bill is not passed this monsoon session," Javadekar alleged.

"If the Bill is not passed during the current session, it will be tabled in November. If that happens, we cannot implement it from April 1, 2016. If GST is implemented, we can attract more investment and our GDP will increase by 2%" Javadekar said.

Read:Consensus on key provisions of land bill may evolve today

Although senior ministers Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu stayed in touch with key regional parties like the Trinamool, SP, NCP and even the Congress, some leaders from the principal Opposition party indicated there was little chance of rapprochement with the government.

“We are expected to continue our protests as our demands, to remove Sushma Swaraj and the two BJP chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, have not been met,” said a Congress leader.

As these MPs and other Congress members return to the House, even Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will be in the spotlight to see how she handles a fresh round of disruptions.

If suspended MPs once again disrupt proceedings, Mahajan told HT, “What happens on Monday, we will see on Monday. I will pray.”

She said it was “not in my nature” to suspend members, that she had felt really bad about it but she could not help it as she had to go by rules and keep the House in order.

Naidu also held an impromptu meeting in Chennai with a senior Congress strategist to point out how the government’s stand on the proposed land bill has softened – which is being seen as an “exchange offer” for Congress support to the GST bill.

Naidu appealed to the Congress to allow Parliament to function for the remaining four days saying government was willing to consider any meaningful suggestion to break the deadlock, but failed to break the ice.

"Eight more important bills are there, four bills were already passed in Lok Sabha. I hope Congress understands its responsibility. Let us see what is going to happen. I want Monday to be Monday and I don't want Monday to be a Sunday," he told reporters in Chennai.

Sources said the introduction of the amended bill will be decided after gauging the Opposition’s mood.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to come to Parliament on Tuesday to interact with leaders across political lines. She is also scheduled to meet PM Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley and the government may seize this opportunity to rope in her party on key bills.


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