Making a scene
- IPL spot-fixing case: Net widens, police watching 3 more players, other bookies
- IPL 2013: Imperious Brad Hodge powers Rajasthan Royals to qualifier
- Sonia Gandhi, PM Manmohan Singh slam BJP for disrupting Parliament, stalling bills
- IPL spot-fixing: 'Bookie' Vindoo was close to BCCI chief's son-in-law, say cops
- Jessica Lall case: Shayan Munshi to face perjury trial
Given the UPA's serial blunders, its lack of drive and its inability to persuade, it is remarkable that the BJP still looks as ill-suited to its role as it does. As the primary opposition party, the BJP's instincts have failed it at critical junctures. What, after all, explains its go-for-broke strategy over coal allocation, when it is on clearly shaky ground? Encouraged by an excitable CAG and Team Anna's insubstantial allegations, the BJP has tried to pump up the coal controversy into another Bofors, insisting that the PM accept personal responsibility and resign. Despite the misgivings of its principal ally, the JD(U), and other opposition parties, it has refused to let Parliament function, and chosen belligerent public posturing over rational debate on coal allotment. In the process, it has practically gifted the UPA a chance to look righteously wounded.
This is an especially brazen tactic, given how implicated the BJP itself is in the matter. It was the UPA that took the initiative to move to competitive bidding for coal blocks, rather than the allocation process followed by previous dispensations, including the NDA. The long failure to operationalise auctions was largely on account of stiff opposition from many coal-rich states like West Bengal and Chhattisgarh, where parties now in opposition, the Left and the BJP, were in power. The Centre delayed the policy change primarily because of the states' argument that this would hurt industrial undertakings, and upset federal balances. It also tried and failed to push through an amendment to the Coal Mines Nationalisation Act, which might have been a cinch if the BJP had supported it. Each screening committee had representatives from BJP state governments. In other words, the BJP is entirely complicit in any loss to the exchequer caused by coal allocation.
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- BJP invokes 'sarcasm, ridicule' against PM