New Delhi: Politics is the art of possible. Close on the heels of Dayanidhi Maran of DMK meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior BJP leaders, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament premises on August 4, the Congress seemed to be taking a plunge towards reaching out to AIADMK supremo Jayalalitha. It is being said that Congress is seeking her support after the partys MP were suspended from Lok Sabha.
A senior Congress MP from a southern state has reportedly written a letter to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi urging her to have a talk to Jayalalitha or depute Rahul Gandhi to do the same at the earliest. We should muster support of all non BJP parties in our continued agitation against the BJP, the lawmaker in Lok Sabha and a former union Minister told First post here.
The idea has been liked and endorsed by several other Congress leaders, he claimed as establishing contacts with AIADMK supremo would be also a politically sensible move as assembly elections are due in Tamil Nadu next year. Similar opinion has been shared about reaching out to BJD chief Naveen Patnaik, who has so far given only mixed signals about its relationship with BJP-led NDA.
Congress members like Veerappa Moily, however, says BJD has been behaving like a soft NDA constituent for all practical purpose. Both BJD and AIADMK have stayed away from the Congress boycott of Lok Sabha proceedings unlike other parties including the Left, Trinamul Congress and NCP over suspension of Congress MPs. While Samajwadi Party MP also sympathised with Congress, much to the anguish of Congress and other smaller parties, BJD and AIADMK have been participating in the debate in Lok Sabha during last two days.
The developments certainly make it crystal clear that the BJP floor managers had so far failed to isolate Congress in Parliament. Trying to explain the factors responsible for logjam, the news daily The Statesman says in its editorial: The answer lies in the exaggerated sense of false prestige that sees the two major political forces make common cause - to degrade the apex legislature to a political akhara.
Agree others and who also say the onus is certainly more with the government to make the first move. But what is worse is BJP seems to be more inclined to give political mileage to Congress. Even if we not very keen, we were virtually led to support Congress on this. The governments move to expel opposition members is actually self defeating, Samajwadi MP, Dharmendra Yadav said.
The AIADMK sources in the capital are too tight lipped over the reported attempts by Congress to reach out to their supremo Jayalalitha. However, sources say, AIADMK might not be too keen to give mileage to Congress at this juncture on an issue where they would be seen in confrontation with the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
They feel Mahajan shares good rapport with Jayalalitha and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, the Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers eyes and ears in the corridors of power in Delhi.
Similarly, sources in BJD rule out any drastic change in Naveen Patnaiks parliamentary strategy although personally many of their party MP did not favour such harsh step from the chair. If this happens, then how would we protest, a BJD source remarked adding in his own characteristic style about the situation saying perhaps this opposition unity will help Parliamentary democracy in the long run.
In fact, he also doubts whether tough-no-non-sense line would actually work in restoring normalcy and the prestige of Parliament.
Many also see that tough-line move by the ruling BJP vis-a-vis the chair in Lok Sabha has actually given a shot in the arm of Sonia Gandhi and Congress party. If the government thought suspension of Congress MP would isolate Congress, the move has simply not worked. Our party Trinamool has not been very soft towards Congress sine 2012 when we walked out of UPA, but on this Mamata Banerjee also feels such harsh decision is not a wise thing, a Trinamool source said.
For its government, the government, however, says we have been doing everything. While we offered debate and discussions in both Houses, strangely the main opposition Congress is running away, says MoS Environment Prakash Javadekar.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu meanwhile sought to make an appeal but gave an impression that not supporting government to run the House at this juncture was almost an anti-national act.
Not for the government or the BJP, please do a favour to the country. Allow legislations to be taken up in both houses.
Do not stall them... Opposition should leave politics aside for the countrys sake and take it forward by allowing Parliament to function, Naidu said.
He, however, made an appeal to allow passage of GST saying, GST is need of the hour. Its a revolutionary taxation proposal which has been discussed for last 5 years. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sounded more sober and said in Lok Sabha, If my friends (Congress), who are not present in House today, allow implementation of GST, which was introduced by Congress, you will have an uniform tax rate, one market and it is capable of boosting economy by 1-2 per cent.
Left to them, Congress members like Mani Shankar Aiyar still remain defiant about not supporting the passage of GST in Rajya Sabha at least in next two days. Implementing GST, the uniform tax roadmap from April 1, 2016, now seems a far cry and the first major casualty of the ongoing standoff.