BSP, SP disrupting parliament at government's behest: Yashwant Sinha

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 13:30 hrs

Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday alleged that some political parties were in cahoots with the UPA Government with the singular aim of disrupting the winter session of parliament.

Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha accused the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party of disrupting the house on the directions of the government.

"The people who openly support the government don't have any right to stall the parliament. When they stall the proceedings of the parliament then its quite evident that they do it on the orders of the government. We want a discussion on FDI according to rule 184 and then we want voting. Only then will it be clear as to who is standing with whom," said Sinha.

Another BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said supporters of the government were protesting in the parliament and asked the government for an explanation.

"I don't want to make any comment; I want the countrymen to understand what is happening. My point is that the ruling party coalition partners and supporters themselves are not happy with this government, they are creating problems, and they have not allowed the house to function. What does it mean? Let the ruling party explain," said Naidu.

Both the houses of Indian Parliament were later adjourned for the day, following the uproar by BJP lawmakers, as they demanded discussion on the allowance of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail sector.

The government is scrambling for support ahead of a parliament session that will severely test its economic reform agenda. For the moment, there is no threat of the government falling. But an obstructive opposition and unreliable allies could mean there is little progress on reforms like opening up insurance and pension businesses.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC), a former ally of Congress, moved a no-confidence motion against the Government, but it failed due to lack of numbers.

Slamming the TMC, Congress leader, Deepa Das Munshi said that the no-confidence motion was a joke being made over democracy.

"It is a joke on democracy, because they have their democratic right to do so. But they should know what numbers they are having. Without 50 numbers how can they do like this? Obviously it has already been washed out. They have their right to agitate, they have their right to protest, and they have every right. Already they are doing. But on the floor, inside the Lok Sabha, what they have done today is absolutely a joke on democracy," said Munshi.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has engaged in unusual dinner diplomacy with allies at his New Delhi home to build consensus on the next round of economic reforms, which need parliamentary approval.

Criticized in the past for cold-shouldering allies and opponents, Singh also plans to dine this week with leaders of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose obstructionist tactics washed out the last session. But analysts doubt he will manage to forge a consensus on the reforms.

The reform does not require parliamentary approval. But left- and-right-wing opposition parties, with an eye to upcoming state and national elections, want to use the session to hold the government to account on the policy, which they say does not have popular support.

Most of the initiatives Singh has announced to date have required only an executive order, so this session of parliament poses the biggest test yet of his reform drive. If he fails to get key allies and the BJP on board, his reformist legislative agenda could stall.

Among the reform bills due to be introduced are measures to allow up to 49 percent foreign investment in local insurance companies and domestic pension funds. Currently, the cap for insurers is at 26 percent and foreign investors are barred from buying into pensions. (ANI)

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