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PM in RS? Govt reaching out to various parties separately to break Parliament deadlock

The process of breaking the deadlock began on Wednesday when Speaker Sumitra Mahajan convened a meeting of all parties in her chamber.

Updated: Nov 23, 2016, 11.58 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: With six working days of the winter session of Parliament having been wasted due to disruptions on the currency replacement issue, government has begun the process of breaking the deadlock by reaching out to the Opposition, breaching its unity by acceding partially to its demands.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar held separate talks with different political parties to get them on board for smooth conduct of business in both Houses.

Hopes that the Congress-led Opposition will wear out in a few days have come a cropper with parties planning a big agitation on Monday against the manner in which the high denomination currencies were suddenly recalled.

A thaw, however, appears to be in the offing with the government offering that PM Modi will be present in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday — the day set aside for the PM to answer questions pertaining to ministries directly under him — and may even intervene in the note replacement debate.

The Opposition has been stalling the Rajya Sabha in protest against Modi’s absence in the House during the debate and maintains that since he made the announcement on November 8, he should speak in the House on the issue.

Modi was present in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday and watched the protest of the Congress-led Opposition that insisted that an adjournment motion be admitted and debate on the currency replacement under Rule 56 that entails voting be allowed.

The process of breaking the deadlock began on Wednesday when Speaker Sumitra Mahajan convened a meeting of all parties in her chamber after Question Hour.

During the meeting, Kumar tried to reason with the Opposition that accepting the adjournment motion was tantamount to censuring the government on the issue and hence not acceptable to the government, sources said.

“We do not want any voting on the issue of demonetization,” NDA ministers maintained but accepted willingness to set aside even up to three days for the debate.

A senior Cabinet minister said the government has managed to win over 10 parties to its side, including BJD, TRS and YSR Congress. Shiv Sena too has changed its stand and is supporting the government along with SAD, which too had criticised currency recall.

AIADMK, however, remains with Opposition parties.

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