"The House should be allowed to run," JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, who also doubles up as the convenor of NDA, told ET soon after the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the second consecutive day after a determined BJP, with some backing from AIADMK, stalled proceedings in support of its demand for Chidambaram's ouster from the Union Cabinet.
The JD(U) chief was responding to queries on whether the two Houses of Parliament would see an encore on Monday. With the winter session drawing to a close on December 22, there are just four working days left, and crucial pieces of legislation such as the Lokpal bill and the food security bill are scheduled to be taken up during the period. Their fate would, however, depend on the Opposition's cooperation.
JD(U) sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, felt that the government could be cornered on the floor of the two Houses if discussions were allowed on the 'conflict of interest' allegations now being hurled at the home minister. "We can pin the government, and Chidambaram, down during the debate on the merits of the case. We can draw greater political mileage if we adopt this strategy," said a senior JD(U) leader.
This is not the first time BJP's ally at the Centre, and in Bihar, has struck a discordant note on an issue. At an all-party meeting convened by the prime minister on the Lokpal bill, while BJP favoured enactment of the anti-graft legislation during the remaining part of the winter session, Yadav asked the government to "go slow" on the subject by drafting a bill only after soliciting the views of various stakeholders.
Even earlier, after the two Houses of Parliament remained paralysed for almost a fortnight over the government's decision to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail, the JD(U) had favoured a less strident approach.
On the eve of the all-party meeting convened by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on December 7 to break the impasse, the NDA ally had backed the voices seeking resumption of parliamentary proceedings.
"I am in favour of Parliament functioning normally. Chalna chahiye (it should run). We will see what happens at the all-party meeting tomorrow (Wednesday). But one thing is clear: I will speak strongly in favour of Parliament functioning after so many days of stalling," Yadav had told newspersons then.
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