PM meets BJP leaders to end parliamentary logjam

  • New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 04, 2013 03:15 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's efforts to reach out to BJP to end the parliamentary stand-off over the missing coal files issue failed tonight with BJP not giving him any assurance on the smooth running of the House on Tuesday.

Singh held a meeting with BJP leaders LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley late this evening and requested them to cooperate in the passage of important financial legislations in Parliament but the opposition was unmoved and said it will take a call on the issue after a meeting of its senior MPs on Tuesday morning.

Asking the opposition to forget the past, the Prime Minister sought BJP's support in passing of important financial legislations including the Pensions Bill and Securities and Exchange Board of India (Amendment) Bill, sources said.

During the nearly 90-minute meeting at the Prime Minister's residence, BJP maintained it is not responsible for the disruptions in Parliament and accused Congress MPs of causing disruptions.

The Prime Minister called the BJP leaders to his residence to sort out issues that came up after his statement in Parliament earlier in the day on the missing coal blocks allocation files failed to break the deadlock.

The BJP leaders told the Prime Minister that "tempers are running high" in BJP over the manner in which Singh walked out of both Houses "in a huff" after his statement on the issue without answering any of the clarifications sought by the opposition.

The main opposition also reiterated that it has been cooperating with the government and helping in passage of important bills by sitting till late but has not been allowed to raise its issues.

BJP will hold a meeting of its senior MPs tomorrow morning to decide on whether to support the government in passing key pending legislations or force adjournments.

Party sources said BJP may support passage of the Land Acquisition Bill which is slated to come up in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow.

BJP was upset as the Prime Minister left both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha immediately after making statements in the two Houses. BJP leaders said they wanted to seek clarifications from the Prime Minister but could not.

To protest this, BJP leaders boycotted a meeting called by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar this afternoon and decided to vociferously protest in Parliament tomorrow.

Amidst this, the Prime Minister took the initiative of inviting the top BJP leaders for discussions.

Sources said Singh personally called up Advani and both leaders of the Opposition and invited them to a meeting with him tonight.

Earlier in the day, BJP led the opposition onslaught in Parliament and expressed dissatisfaction at the Prime Minister's statement on missing coal files saying their queries have not been answered and the steps taken by government to recover the missing files have not been listed.

BJP is furious that Meira Kumar did not allow Swaraj to speak. Even Advani, who raised his hand seeking permission to speak, was ignored by the Chair.

"All norms were broken in the Lok Sabha. The Leader of the Opposition was insulted when she was not permitted to speak. Her mike was muted. Even Advani, who rarely raises his hand to speak, was not allowed. Have you heard of any Parliament in the world where Leader of Opposition is not allowed to speak"? BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.


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