The Left and other parties on Thursday took exception to the assertion by the Bharatiya Janata Party that it would decide on a daily basis whether or not the Parliament would function; they said the party could not occupy the space of the entire Opposition.
“We are not in favour of disruption [of Parliament proceedings]. We want discussion and make the government accountable,” Communist Party of India (Marxist) Rajya Sabha leader Sitaram Yechury said at a joint press conference.
He charged the government and the BJP with having struck a ‘compromise’ and felt that this was one of the reasons why a discussion on price rise, pending in the Rajya Sabha, was not being taken up.
Mr. Yechury said members of the Left parties had moved an amendment to the motion on the price rise and would press for a division. He said that as far as issues of economic policy and corruption were concerned, the Left parties made no distinction between the Congress and the BJP.
“Anguish and despair”
CPI Parliamentary Party leader Gurudas Dasgupta said he had conveyed his “deep sense of anguish and despair” to the Speaker on the statement, and also spoke to leaders of other parties, including partners of the National Democratic Alliance, such as the Janata Dal-United.
The CPI leader said he had spoken to leaders of the Telugu Desam Party, the Biju Janata Dal, and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, all of whom were in agreement with the Left on the issue.
“This is not only unparliamentary arrogance but [an attempt] to subvert parliamentary system. How can the BJP with 156 MPs impose its will on entire Parliament of 750 MPs… as if the party represents the entire Opposition?” he said.
Having been in Parliament for over two decades, Mr. Dasgupta said he had not come across such a statement, especially from a person who was the leader of the Opposition, who had a special status in Parliament.
He too accused the Congress and the BJP of entering into an “unholy alliance” through which the ruling coalition was pushing its economic agenda based on neo-liberal policies to which the BJP agreed. Hindu