The current mood in the Congress is not to succumb to the pressure of the Opposition parties on the CAG report on the Commonwealth Games. Its strategy became clear after a meeting of the party’s top brass here on Saturday. After that, the Congress virtually dismissed the Opposition’s demand for Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s resignation.
“We have not yet seen the entire report. But, of whatever we have seen, there is no such allegation that would attract major action. The report tabled in Parliament will go to the Public Accounts Committee where all parties will have their representatives. Right now there is nothing more to think on this,” Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters while responding to questions about the BJP’s demand for Ms Dikshit’s resignation.
Mr Dwivedi emphasised that there was a constitutional process to be followed when such reports are tabled in Parliament. A section of the Congress, and even the NCP, felt that the removal of Mr Ashok Chavan as Maharashtra chief minister on the Adarsh Housing Society scam was, politically, a “wrong decision”. “We could have removed Ashok Chavan on other issues, but not on the Adarsh scam,” they said.
The Congress top brass, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, met during the day for the first time after party chief Sonia Gandhi went abroad for surgery. The meeting was held against the backdrop of the CAG report on the CWG scam faulting the Prime Minister’s Office for Mr Suresh Kalmadi’s appointment as the chief of the CWG organising committee. The CAG also criticised the role of Ms Sheila Dikshit for the manner in which the CWG projects were implemented. The Opposition, led by the BJP, is expected to raise the issue in a major way in Parliament on Monday.
UPA managers, meanwhile, are not worried about the corruption issue even after the CAG report and are confident of facing the rest of the Monsoon Session of Parliament. While the BJP-led NDA has realised that the government cannot fall because of the support of the Samajwadi Party (22 members in the Lok Sabha), the BSP (21) and the RJD (four), the non-NDA parties — the AIADMK (nine) the Rashtriya Lok Dal (five) and the Janata Dal-S (three) — are seen as prospective allies of the Congress-led front. On the other hand, Independents (nine) and at least 11 one-member parties are willing to help the government of the day. This means that a block of over 65 MPs can support the government in a trial of strength, excluding the AIADMK, RLD and the JD(S), said a senior UPA leader. He also drew attention to how equations of political parties in the Lok Sabha are changing. The main Opposition BJP wants to play the role of a “constructive Opposition” instead of exploiting divisions in the ruling UPA, while the Left is playing the role of the Opposition with the help of anti-Congress parties outside the NDA. This was seen during the discussion on the price rise and the same could be repeated during the discussion on corruption. According to sources, government managers are helping the BJP draft the language of a resolution on corruption. Asian Age