House logjam to continue, BJP up for larger corruption battle
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With both the government and BJP having dug in their heels, the stage is set for a larger political battle over the issue of corruption continuing well into the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. As an immediate fallout, the alleged coal block allocation scam is certain to consume the remaining part of the current monsoon session of Parliament.
The two Houses remained paralysed for the fourth consecutive day Friday. Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj told Leader of the House and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal that the BJP will persist with the disruption of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to press for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his role in coal block allocations.
"We are 116 (in the Lok Sabha) and we will not let the House function, irrespective of who joins us," she is learnt to have conveyed to other opposition parties.
As the Congress core group took stock of the situation and the government ruled out a compromise on the issue, the BJP is getting ready with a joint counter-attack by Swaraj and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
However, the BJP has dropped a move to call a meeting of floor leaders of parties Monday morning. The reason reportedly is that Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had floated the idea, has since changed his line. The BJP is now consulting other parties individually and its message is: "Let us have a similar strategy and not a common strategy."
What the BJP is gearing up for is a long-drawn political battle, with the disruption of House proceedings just the beginning. A mass campaign to mobilise public opinion against the Congress over corruption will follow, with the BJP highlighting 2G spectrum allocation scam, Commonwealth Games irregularities and the alleged Delhi Airport scandal apart from coal block allocations.
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