Congress leader Jairam Ramesh claimed that no middle path has been found in Parliament yet, and added the budget session may well turn out to be a washout for the first-time ever
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. Pic/AFP
The Congress on Saturday accused the government of making no efforts to bring about a compromise with the opposition to help end the deadlock in Parliament.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh claimed that no middle path has been found in Parliament yet, and added the budget session may well turn out to be a washout for the first-time ever.
He also took a swipe at the government over the passage of key bills and the budget without any discussion in Parliament amid disruptions. "If the JPC demand is in the bin, the bills will be passed in the din, sadly," he said.
The second part of the budget session of Parliament that began on March 13 has mostly seen disruptions caused by the opposition and the treasury benches. The budget session is set to end on April 6.
While the opposition unitedly has been demanding a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) investigation into the Adani issue, the treasury benches are demanding an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his "democracy under threat" remarks made in the United Kingdom and for seeking foreign intervention, which they allege are an insult to India and its institutions.
Ramesh said the government got the finance bill passed amid a din in the Lok Sabha and the same was returned by the Rajya Sabha in a similar situation.
He claimed that more such bills may be passed in the coming days.
"If the JPC demand is in the bin, the bills will be passed in the din, sadly. The demand is for the JPC in the Adani issue. All 19 opposition parties stand united on the JPC demand on the Adani issue and this will continue on Monday," he said.
He claimed that the government pushed the Competition Act Amendment Bill and the Finance Bill amid a din.
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"There is no middle path that has been found, there has been no communication between the government and the opposition parties. Absolutely none. There has been one attempt made by the Speaker and one attempt made by the (Rajya Sabha) chairman, but no attempt is made by the ruling party to work out a compromise," he also said.
Ramesh noted that the Rajya Sabha chairman during his meeting with the opposition parties did not give any formula for a compromise and only told them to be less rigid.
"The question of an apology by Rahul Gandhi is an academic issue because they got him disqualified," Ramesh quipped, junking the ruling party's demand for an apology from the Congress leader. Ramesh said the government's move to send key bills to select committees instead of standing committees is "absolutely identical" to its earlier decision to term some bills as money bills which do not require the assent of Rajya Sabha, where the BJP did not enjoy a majority then.
"The Modi government didn't send the data protection bill to the Standing Committee on IT in the Lok Sabha, because that was headed by my colleague Shashi Tharoor. They set up a Select Committee. They did not send the Biodiversity Amendment Bill to the Standing Committee, which is headed by me. They send it to a Select Committee headed by Sanjay Jaiswal, who is a BJP MP..."
"Now the Forest Conservation Amendment Bill should have come before the Standing Committee on Forest, which I head. It has gone to a Select Committee. We don't know who the chairman (of select committee) is, that they will appoint, I am sure, in the next couple of days," Ramesh said.
"This is just like the Money Bill argument. By the way, my money bill plea is still pending in the Supreme Court," he said. Ramesh said a number of challenges to government decisions are awaiting adjudication in the Supreme Court.
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