A stormy Parliament session ahead?

The winter session of Parliament slated to begin next week is likely to be a stormy affair given that most political parties outside the fold of the UPA are planning to move motions on the FDI issue which entail voting. In simple words, the government could face a united opposition which includes the BJP and the Left parties pitted against it on the issue. Even some of its allies like the DMK and those offering support from outside to the minority government like the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party could oppose the treasury benches on this contentious subject.

However, what is to be seen is that whether the motion moved under a rule for voting is under rule 196 which means a no confidence motion or some other provision of Parliament. The government on its part will try to put up a brave front hoping that somewhere down the line, the various political parties uniting on the issue develop differences.

For those who have been stating that the BJP and Left cannot be on the same side, they need to be reminded that even on the Indo-US nuclear agreement, the BJP and the Left had voted against the agreement. Even in 1967, 1977 and 1989, the Saffron Brigade(Jana Sangh and later BJP) and the CPI (M) have been on the same side. Politics makes strange bedfellows and the BJP-CPM relationship is one such thing as common objectives often bring together parties ideologically opposed to each other.

Mamata Banerjee had indicated while withdrawing support from the UPA sometime ago that she will oppose the FDI in Parliament. Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav have also expressed their opposition to FDI in multi brand retail terming it anti people. Now if all the parties vote as per their stated positions, it could mean trouble for the government. But the government is hopeful that some party or the other will abstain and help in saving it from acute embarassment. What could also be happening behind the scenes is what needs to belooked at closely. There could be enough provocation from one of the principal parties that could lead to stalling of the house proceedings. If this happens, the numbers do not play out on the floor of the House unless the motion is a no confidence motion which supersedes every other activity.

The BJP which has been accused of being soft on the government in Parliament made a sharp attack on the government on wednesday demanding a probe into the role of the Prime Minister in his capacity as the Coal Minister in the Coalgate scam, an inquiry to ascertain the allegations against Robert Vadra and the reason for not acting on the Shunglu committee report that raised questions about the Sheila Dikshit government in relation to the Commonwealth games Scam. The BJP has gone on the offensive knowing fully well that it will have to also defend its president Nitin Gadkari in Parliament and therefore has targetted the UPA government.

The Winter session by and large will in all probability witness many unruly scenes and thus leave the general people even more disillusioned on what should be the role of Parliament and its members. So far as the minority government goes, its future will depend on how it is able to draw a wedge between various parties opposed to it. What it will find very hard to defend are the twin issues which have come to haunt it–price rise and corruption.

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