Govt hopes terrorism debate will bring Parliament back on track
In the midst of the stalemate in Parliament, the government hopes that the Opposition’s “readiness” to participate in a debate on terrorism and national security would bring both Houses on track.
Home minister Rajnath Singh is expected to make a statement in Parliament on Thursday on the Gurdaspur attack, which would be followed by the discussion.
The Opposition has not allowed Parliament to transact much business in the monsoon session so far, demanding the resignation of BJP leaders over the Lalit Modi and Vyapam scandals. “We are ready for a two-day long debate on national security, starting with a statement from the home minister. Many opposition parties want Parliament to discuss other issues as well,” a senior minister said.
Government sources told HT that finance minister Arun Jaitley is preparing a detailed response to the allegations over foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s links to Lalit Modi.
On its part, the Congress has maintained that it stands firmly behind the government in its resolve to fight terrorism.
Though the party is unlikely to disrupt the home minister’s speech, the final call on participating in the debate will be taken on Thursday morning when Sonia Gandhi chairs a meeting of party MPs.
If it decides to take part in the discussion on the Gurdaspur attack, Congress leaders said they would expose the fault-lines in the ruling Akali Dal-BJP coalition in Punjab by referring to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s statement, in which he passed the buck to the Centre, saying infiltration should have been stopped at the border itself.