2G row: NDA to boycott Chidambaram in Parliament
In escalation of confrontation, the National Democratic Alliance on Monday decided to target Home Minister P Chidambaram by boycotting him and not allowing him to speak in Parliament, holding him also responsible for the 2G scam.
In a sudden move, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA demanded the resignation of Chidambaram, who was finance minister in the United Progressive Alliance-I, and declared that they will boycott him till his resignation was accepted by the prime minister.
The NDA decision came on the eve of start of the winter session of Parliament at a meeting at senior BJP leader L K Advani's residence which was attended by leaders of BJP and allies Sharad Yadav, Manohar Joshi, Anant Geete, Naresh Gujral and Shivanand Tiwari.
With inputs from PTI
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Image: Home Minister P Chidambaram
'Chidambaram equally responsible for 2G scam as Raja'
On the opening day on Tuesday, Advani will move an adjournment motion on the issue of black money in the Lok Sabha and the NDA has decided to support the Left motion on price rise.
"Advaniji will move a motion against Chidambaram on Tuesday. It was decided that NDA members will not allow Chidambaram to speak in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. We want him to resign from the Union cabinet," said S S Ahluwalia, deputy leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha told rediff.com.
"Chidambaram is equally responsible for the 2G scam as the then telecom minister A Raja is. The prime minister has taken Raja's resignation, but didn't seek Chidambaram's resignation," he added.
The NDA decision will be a repeat of what the Congress did to George Fernandes after his reinstatement as defence minister in the Vajpayee-government on the Tehelka arms expose. At that time, the Congress members would walk out of the House whenever Fernandes would rise to speak. When asked if the NDA members of Parliament will stage a walkout when Chidambaram speaks in Parliament, Ahluwalia said, "No. Why should we walk out? We will not allow him to speak."
Image: Former telecom minister A Raja
'Won't stage a walk, but won't allow PC to speak'
The BJP has been attacking Chidambaram on 2G issue and has been demanding that the Central Bureau of Investigation question him on spectrum allotment issue, holding that the decision was taken when he was finance minister.
Significantly, the BJP leader also claimed that both the Left and the NDA will support each other's motions on price rise and black money in Parliament.
"We have talked to each other on this issue and decided that both will support each other's motions. The opposition will present itself unitedly on the motions," Ahluwalia told reporters.
However, sources in the Communist Party of India-Marxist said they were not aware of any mutual agreement between the NDA and the Left, as whatever assurance has been given to the BJP leaders may have been given by CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta. The CPI-M leaders felt that it would be normal to expect the NDA to support the adjournment motion on price rise, to be brought by the Left.
Image: File photo of NDA leaders at a rally in Delhi
BJP chalks out startegy for winter session
Besides, the NDA will also raise some issues pertaining to rural India during the winter session of Parliament. These include the suicides by cotton farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, the shortage and black marketing of fertilisers and the plight of paddy farmers in the absence of adequate procurement.
Ahluwalia said the NDA will also raise the issue of foreign direct investment in retail sector, which he charged the government of pushing through despite the Parliamentary Committee opposing it.
The issue of the new notified rules under the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill will also be raised, said Ahluwalia, adding "We will oppose the new rules as they did so without taking Parliament in confidence."
The alleged tinkering with the federal structure on Centre-state relations, particularly with regard to non-Congress ruled states will also be raised along with the issue of determination of poverty line. "The Parliament should form new yardsticks and not the Planning Commission," he said.
Among the senior BJP leaders present at Monday's NDA meet included party president Nitin Gadkari, leaders of opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, besides deputy leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia.
The BJP Parliamentary Party's executive met on Monday morning at Advani's residence and chalked out the party's strategy on take on the UPA in the winter session of Parliament starting on Tuesday.
Image: Senior BJP leader Advani