M A I N   N E W S

NDA may continue boycott
Tribune News Service & PTI

New Delhi, May 2
After breaking its three-day boycott for a day in the Lok Sabha to take part in the debate on the Finance Bill, the Opposition NDA is likely to continue with its protest indefinitely from tomorrow till the government gives it some assurance on an “attitudinal change” towards it.

Amidst reports that the TDP, which extends outside support to the alliance, had reservations about continuation of the boycott, the coordination committee of the NDA, chaired by Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani, met here tonight and is understood to have “convinced” its ally from Andhra Pradesh to go along with their decision, NDA sources said.

Earlier, talking to newspersons, BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra said a meeting of NDA MPs would be held tomorrow again to decide the alliance’s future strategy.

Mr Malhotra said that by participating in the Finance Bill debate, the NDA wanted to blow the whistle on the government’s claim that the Opposition had not taken part in the Budgetary discussions for the second consecutive term.

A unanimous resolution adopted at a meeting chaired by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee this morning said the Opposition had an important role to play in Parliamentary democracy.

‘‘But we cannot play our role if we are continuously prevented from doing so by the Treasury Benches... if elements of the ruling coalition themselves disrupt Parliament on frivolous issues and force its adjournment... if parliamentary norms and practices are given a go-by by the ruler themselves,’’ the resolution said.

‘‘It was the government’s casual and confrontationist attitude towards the Opposition which forced us to announce a three-day boycott last week.’’

The resolution said in a parliamentary democracy the Opposition was as much a part of the political system as the Treasury Benches. But the UPA Government was treating the Opposition as its ‘‘enemy rather than a necessary part of the parliamentary process’’.

The NDA also charged the ruling UPA coalition with “setting a new and absolutely unacceptable norm of political conduct by allowing tainted Ministers accused of corruption charges to continue in the Council of Ministers.”


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