As many as 39 bills, including six anti-corruption measures, have been listed in the second phase of the Winter Session.
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“Congress cannot blame the opposition for disruptions. Congress only has created this situation. The ruling party has become so weak in the country as also inside as its own Chief Minister has sent the bill after rejecting it in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly,” Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.
After an all-party meeting convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, several other leaders, including Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) and Sudip Bandyopadhyay (Trinamool Congress) said that the government should first concentrate on passage of the Vote on Account as there were apprehensions that the Telangana issue could paralyze the House proceedings.
While Yechury accused the government of creating disorder in Parliament on the Telangana issue, Bandhopadhyay made a strong plea to make the session a short affair in which passage of Vote on Account (General) and Vote on Account (Railways) should take precedence over other issues.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister hit back at the BJP, saying it wants to create hindrances in the passage of Telangana Bill.
“All political parties must make their stand clear (on Telangana) and should not qualify their statements with ifs and buts,” Nath said.
While Trinamool Congress suggested holding the session between February 17 and 21, Samajwadi Party and JD (U) said the session should be between February 12 and 21.
“Let the new government come….Let them tackle the issues,” Bandhopadhyay said, noting that the government has proposed over 40 bills and it knows that it will not be able to get them passed.
Swaraj said, “We have no objection to bills — anti- corruption or others. The issue is whether Congress MPs will allow Parliament to function. We will certainly pass the bills if the House is allowed to function.”
Seeking to put the ball in the government’s court, Yechury suggested that if the government wanted the bills to be passed, it should come up with a strategy to tackle the Telangana issue so that the House proceedings are not disrupted.
Appealing to all political parties to rise above politics and to pass six bills which deal with corruption, Nath said, “These are very important, because the Lokpal Bill has been passed. It is important that the other six bills also be passed to strengthen the Lokpal Bill.
The AICC meeting held recently had seen party vice-president Rahul Gandhi asking the government to earnestly work for passage of the anti-corruption bills which he had termed as a framework to deal with graft.
He had also pitched for the passage of Disability Bill and Women’s Reservation Bill.
On Telangana, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav said if the government brings any bill on Telangana, his party will oppose it. The Samajwadi Party has so far opposed division of states, terming them as unviable.