Parliamentary business needs to be taken as even the govt is willing to give extra room to the opposition
GN Bureau | August 5, 2015
Will the Congress return to the parliamentary business now? A special court on Wednesday allowed the issuance of a non bailable warrant against Lalit Modi in a money laundering case. With this warrant, the Congress should be partly satisfied as it is an important step in the direction of bringing Lalith Modi back to India.
The enforcement directorate (ED) had moved the court last week seeking the issuance of the warrant. The central agency approached the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court after Modi, who has made London his home, did not respond to summons.
The warrant is a significant weapon in getting Lalit Modi as many western countries, especially European nations are very serious about money laundering charges.
The Congress demand is resignation of Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje for their alleged connection with tainted Lalit Modi. But now it has escalated into war of wits with the suspension of 25 of its MPS from Lok Sabha. However, the Congress should consider debate and pinning Sushma in a meaningful debate in parliament.
Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu reiterated today that the "government is willing to go extra mile but can't give in to unreasonable demands."
Congress lawmakers from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha staged a demonstration outside Parliament on Wednesday morning over the suspension of MPs. Congress MPs, including party leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, sported black armbands as they demonstrated near the Gandhi statue in parliament complex.
The protests were backed by MPs from other opposition parties with Janata Dal (U) leader KC Tyagi saying they will not let parliament function till the suspension of 25 MPs was withdrawn.
The Congress' all out offensive comes even as the government is believed to be trying to find an amicable solution to de-escalate tensions and pass the long-pending goods and services tax bill.
On Tuesday, Congress managers privately said they couldn’t guarantee their MPs wouldn’t resort to protests, making things more difficult for the peace-brokers. Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan too, showed no sign of softening, saying, “a mother sometimes has to be strict to control her children.”
But the Congress has not made any effort to reach out to the speaker. Instead, it boycotted a land bill meeting with eight other parties.
Meanwhile, the government is worried as rising tensions leave almost no room for introduction of the GST bill in the upper House. The government may ring the tax reform bill next week in Rajya Sabha. The government has also accepted a diluted bill on land acquisition.
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