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BJP blames Congress for Parliament logjam

Government plans to push through Finance & Appropriation Bills in Lok Sabha.

The government on Tuesday blamed the opposition Congress party for the impasse in Parliament, which has seen no business being conducted in either House for the seventh day in this session.

Opposition parties and NDA ally Telugu Desam Party have been protesting both inside and out of Parliament on various issues since the start of the session, including demands for special category status for Andhra Pradesh and the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.

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BJP MPs meet

Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs H.N. Ananth Kumar briefed reporters after the BJP parliamentary party meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah. The Minister said the government has been talking to different parties to break the deadlock in Parliament and targeted the Congress.

Mr. Kumar said that at the parliamentary party meeting, he had spoken to MPs about the continuing deadlock resulting in a washout of the second phase of the Budget Session so far.

He claimed that the Congress was running away from a debate on the PNB scam as it “feared” that many skeletons in its cupboard will tumble out if a debate was held.

Sources in the government said it would try and push through the Finance and Appropriations Bill at least in the Lok Sabha if the situation did not improve.

Three-line whip

The Bharatiya Janata Party MPs were informed about the three-line whip -- to remain present in both houses of Parliament for the next two days -- and its strategy for ensuring the passage of the bills by parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar at a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party here.

It was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Rajnath Singh, party chief Amit Shah and veteran leader LK Advani.

The meeting was addressed by Kumar and ministers of state for parliamentary affairs Vijay Goel and Arjun Ram Meghwal. Modi and Shah didn’t air their views.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Kumar urged the Congress and other parties to let the house function.

BJP MPs have been issued a three-line whip to be present in both Houses between March 13-16.

Mr. Kumar also accused the Congress of being undemocratic. Raking up the excesses by the party during the Emergency in the mid-1970s, the Minister accused the Congress of harbouring a similar mindset towards Parliament in this session.
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