Winter session: Stage set for fiery govt, oppn showdown
The battlelines are clearly drawn ahead of the winter session of parliament that kicks off on Wednesday.
The Centre has launched a “crusade” against corruption and black money by scrapping old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, seeking support from a united Opposition that seems in no mood to relent.
Opposition leaders and called last week’s decision ill-prepared and hasty that caused “economic chaos”, indicating that the session beginning Wednesday might see several disruptions.
Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar briefed reporters, “The government is ready for discussion on all issues.” Later, a separate meeting of the Union ministers was held. But the Congress refused to blink and struck a tone of unity among opposition parties.
“There is not a single person in this country who is not suffering due to demonetization,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said. “Opposition will be united, come what may, and will raise issues together.” Azad, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, alleged that the government’s decision to invalidate
Rs 1000, Rs 500 notes was leaked in advance to some people, including BJP leaders, and called it probably the “biggest scam”.
At a meeting of 13 opposition parties, including arch-rivals Trinamool and CPI(M), opposition leaders unanimously to take up the issue adequately in parliamentary forums. It is understood that BJP ally Shiv Sena is in talks with TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee over issues that affect the common man, a Sena leader said.
Various parties have separately given adjournment notices in Lok Sabha and for suspension of proceedings in Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue and highlight the plight of the common man. “As an opposition party, we must have a march in due course of time, but not on the very first day. On first day of Parliament, we must hold a discussion inside the House.
Hitting back at the Opposition, BJP said while PM Narendra Modi is working to curb black money and corruption with his demonetisation exercise, rival parties have “ganged up” against him. Terming demonetisation as a ‘surgical strike’ on black money, BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma claimed that the general public is in the support of the move.