All-party meets by Jagdeep Dhankhar, Om Birla fail to end Parliament logjam : The Tribune India

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All-party meets by Jagdeep Dhankhar, Om Birla fail to end Parliament logjam

BJP slams Congress for skipping RS Chairman’s meeting

All-party meets by Jagdeep Dhankhar, Om Birla fail to end Parliament logjam

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge speaks in the RS on Tuesday. PTI



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, March 21

The ongoing impasse in Parliament continued on Tuesday despite presiding officers of both Houses convening all-party meetings in an attempt to break the logjam.

Orderly proceedings a duty

Running House is a priority. Other issues can be resolved outside the House. Om Birla, LS Speaker

It is our prime duty to run the proceedings of the House in orderly manner. Jagdeep Dhankhar, RS Chairman

After the entire Opposition barring TDP, BJD and YSRCP boycotted a morning meeting called by Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar to find a way to run the House, the BJP slammed the Congress-led Opposition for “insulting the Chair repeatedly and misleading the country with unfounded allegations”.

Another meeting, which Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla called, was attended by Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and other Opposition parties but it too failed to achieve a breakthrough.

By the end of the day, the BJP and the Opposition appeared even more distant, as the former stuck to the demand for an apology from Congress MP Rahul Gandhi over his London remarks on India’s alleged democratic decline, and the Congress remained firm on a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the Adani issue.

In fact, even before the Parliament commenced today, both sides had taken irreconcilable positions, dampening hopes of the logjam ending.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, in an early morning statement, accused Rahul of being “Mir Jafar of Indian polity who went to London and sought Europe and US’ help to bring a change of guard in India”.

Congress’ Pawan Khera hit back with “the BJP is full of Jai Chands” barb, saying party leaders were known apologisers of the British.

Once Parliament commenced, both Houses, in a repeat of past days, saw the first adjournment until 2 pm and then for the day. The Opposition MPs minus the TMC even held an unprecedented protest on the first floor of Parliament, pressing for a JPC probe. The TMC agitated separately, an indication of its growing alienation from the Congress.

After failed meetings convened by Dhankhar and Birla, Leader of House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal said the Congress, DMK and allies were wilfully obstructing the House and “misleading the nation as they feared a discussion on the Budget which would elicit positive responses”.

Jairam Ramesh accused the BJP MPs of preventing Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge from speaking in the House despite Dhankhar granting the permission twice this morning.

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