Will the Monsoon Session of Parliament be adjourned sine die on Monday?
That's the buzz in the Central Hall of Parliament on Friday, with many members of Parliament from both the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Congress, privately saying that the situation was getting out of control with the continued stalemate in the first week of the session.
The rumours gained strength after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi told TV journalists that External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had committed a criminal act and the only way forward was her resignation.
The senior BJP leadership has refused to relent. Last week and even during the Parliament session this week, the BJP leadership rejected repeated demands for the resignations of Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia over their alleged links with scam-tainted former IPL chief Lalit Modi, saying there is "no technical or legal" basis for the resignations.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday hit out at the Congress-led Opposition for the logjam saying even though the External Affairs minister was ready to make a statement in Parliament, the Opposition refused to allow it. “The government is ready for a discussion in any form at any time. But the distinct and clear impression is that they don’t want a discussion,” Jaitley said after the Rajya Sabha witnessed several adjournments.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has signaled that the party was set to persist with the aggression it displayed in the Rajya Sabha, telling her MPs that they needed to convey the message that the government was protecting the corrupt.
Quite naturally, the government has been trying to find a middle-ground with the Congress-led Opposition through back channel talks via regional parties, to end the logjam.
Sources tell us that BJP MPs have told senior leaders to adjourn the session sine die so that they can concentrate on the Bihar elections, expected to be held by the end of the year. At least 200 MPs will get plum assignments for the state polls from BJP president and key strategist Amit Shah and they are keen to get cracking on it.
So, a decision will be taken on adjourning the Parliament sine die on Monday, after an all-party meeting is convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
BJP MPs have are concerned that Rajya Sabha chairperson Dr Hamid Ansari is unyielding that Treasury Benches cannot get bills passed in the repeated din of the house, especially when MPs rush to the floor of the house.
The BJP points out that in 2010 Dr Ansari got the Women's Reservation Bill with constitutional amendments passed in the Upper House by ensuring a 'jail-like' situation by putting CRPF policemen on standby. So, why is the chairperson unrelenting now, MPs ask?