The decision to boycott home minister P Chidambaram by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) might be a political tool to corner the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in Parliament but it would end up jeopardising at least seven crucial Bills, most of them relating to security.
Senior officials of the home ministry say the Enemy Property Bill and the Communal Violence Bill are already pending in Parliament, and another seven bills were supposed to be introduced in the winter session. But now all these will be affected because the principal Opposition party is not allowing the home minister to speak in the House.
“It is the BJP led NDA that is boycotting the home minister. We don’t indulge in boycotting individuals. We are also raising our concerns on the 2G spectrum allocation scam but we don’t support the decision of BJP-NDA,” said a Left party member who is also a member of the standing committee on home affairs.
The government has rejected a proposal that junior ministers in the government take over the home minister’s work to facilitate passage of the Bills. “How can we allow that ? It is the right of the home minister to reply. He has been elected to the Lok Sabha by the people of Sivaganga (Chidambaram’s constituency). How can the BJP infringe his rights,” asked minister of state in PMO, V Narayanswamy.
Bills listed for consideration and passing in the winter session include the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011, Arms (Amendment) Bill, New Delhi Municipal Corporation Amendment Bill, Citizenship Amendment Bill and Prevention of Torture Bill.
BJP leadership had decided to boycott Chidambaram because of his alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum allocation scam and the decision of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) not to start investigations against the home minister.
The ire of senior leaders of the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is targeted towards the home minister because of the ministry’s decision to investigate cases related to terror against Aseemanand, Pragya Thakur and Colonel Purohit, who are all accused in the Malegaon blast case, Ajmer blast case and Samjhauta Express blast case.
The national investigation agency (NIA) didn’t object to bail applications of the seven accused who were arrested by the Mumbai Police in connection with the Malegaon blast case. However, the agency is planning to contest the bail application plea submitted by Pragya Thakur recently.
During a recent meeting between finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and BJP President Nitin Gadkari just a day before the start of winter session, Gadkari told Mukherjee that the Union government should not expect any support from BJP inside Parliament because of the role of government against Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and for arresting members of the party in the cash for vote scam.