The stalemate in Parliament over the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report on coal block allocation continued for the second day on Wednesday. However, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is banking on parties like the Samajwadi Party (SP) and those from the Left front to make the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) see reason.
The government is desperate to see both the Houses of Parliament resume functioning, it wants Prime Minister Manmohan Singh be allowed to make a statement. While the SP is working on sections within the BJP to wean them away from their obdurate stance of demanding the PM’s resignation, the CPM is scheduled to address the media tomorrow to make it clear they are in favour of the Parliament functioning and that there should be a discussion on the issue.
“The BJP is in total disarray, and this issue helps it to rally all the sections within the party. For them, this is an opportune time to cash in on the UPA scams. We are not interested in being a part of forwarding their agenda,” said a senior Left leader.
“We have stated that we are not demanding the PM’s resignation. We want the PM to face the Parliament and explain his position and that of the PMO,” said D Raja of the CPI.
|PARTY POSITION ON CAG REPORT|
|UPA and allies
CAG is a constitutional body and should stay within its limits. Parliament should be allowed to function and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh be allowed to make a statement
Issues raised by CAG should be further probed but the demand for PM’s resignation totally baseless
|Left parties (CPI, CPI-M)
The PM should make a statement in Parliament and there should be a discussion on the issue. Have not asked for resignation of PM
Parliament should be allowed to function and there should be a discussion on the issue
|Bhartiya Janata Party
Will settle for nothing less than the prime minister’s resignation. Will not let the Parliament function till PM resigns as he was the then coal minister
|Janata Dal United
NDA ally disagrees with the BJP and wants discussion on CAG report in Parliament. Does not agree with BJP demand for PM’s resignation.
|Biju Janata Dal
There must be discussion on the CAG report in Parliament. Not adamant on resignation of the PM. Instead, the allocations should be cancelled and fresh allocation should take place.
Nilotpal Basu of the CPI-M, speaking to Business Standard, said, “Unlike the 2G issue, the coal scam has not been discussed in Parliament. We need a proper discussion and a statement from the Prime Minister.”
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury is scheduled to address the media tomorrow to state that the PM owes an explanation to the Parliament and to the people.
The Congress and the government have also been echoing identical views.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said, ”The BJP is disrupting the Parliament and making a mockery of it. Why don’t they raise whatever issue they have on the floor of the Parliament.”
In fact, PMO sources confirmed the PM was ready with a statement and had come prepared to reply in Parliament. The disruption of the House by the BJP for the second day running has foiled the government’s plans to thwart the BJP’s allegations.
There are indications that while the BJP might have its way this week, normal functioning of the House is likely to resume by Monday.
What has further stepped up the confidence of the government is the support from its allies, NCP, RLD, DMK and even the often troublesome ally, the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Meanwhile, BJP senior leader LK Advani categorically stated at the Parliamentary party meeting today that his party wants the PM to resign and there could be no compromise with the government on the issue.