The opposition is split over allowing Parliament to work

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New Delhi: The Opposition camp on Friday appeared divided on the issue of letting Parliament function from Monday onwards as the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) were keen on participating in the motion of thanks to the President’s address while others remained firm on their demand for a probe into the allegations against the Adani Group in the Hindenburg report.


The Congress later told the opposition parties that it will get back to them on Monday morning.


As many as 16 opposition parties attended an urgent meeting called by Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge at his chamber in the Parliament House complex on Friday to chalk out the floor strategy in both Houses during the ongoing budget session.


Members of the Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Samajwadi Party (SP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), Shiv Sena, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Janata Dal United (JDU), CPI(M), Communist Party of India (CPI), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), KC (Jose Mani), KC (Thomas) and the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) attended the meeting.


The Trinamool Congress (TMC) did not attend the meeting, insisting that there was nothing more to discuss as everything had been finalised on Thursday.


According to Congress sources, the Trinamool Congress had on Thursday suggested that the Opposition should allow Parliament to function from Monday onwards. To this, Congress had maintained that it was imperative to take all the Opposition parties on board on the issue.


On Friday, the Congress suggested that the motion of thanks to the President’s address – that was scheduled to start in both Houses from Thursday – should now be allowed to begin from Monday, thus enabling Parliament to function. The CPI(M) endorsed the Congress party’s views.


However, all the other Opposition parties rejected the suggestion, insisting that Parliament should not be allowed to function till their demands are fulfilled.


Leaders of some of the Opposition parties cited the example of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2010 when it disrupted Parliament over the demand for setting up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the alleged corruption in the telecom sector. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government finally formed a 30-member JPC to look into the matter.


In the JPC, the Congress had 11 members and the BJP 5. The JD(U), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), DMK and the Left had two members each. The SP, TMC, All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Shiv Sena, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and NCP had one member each.


This time, the Congress-led Opposition is demanding an impartial investigation under the supervision of the Supreme Court or a JPC to probe the charges against the Adani Group.


The Congress later told the Opposition parties that its stand will be conveyed to them on Monday morning.


On Friday, both Houses were adjourned till February 6 after Parliament witnessed an uproar over the issue.

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