Thursday, November 15, 2007

Left: Nandigram can’t be discussed in Parliament


New Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: At a leaders’ meeting chaired by Speaker Somnath Chatterjee here on Wednesday, the BJP said it would like to raise in Parliament the Nandigram issue, but the Left parties countered saying it was a State subject and could not be discussed in the House.

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told reporters later that violence in Nandigram had continued for months. It was not a “simple law and order problem” but involved the possible presence of Maoists and was also linked to government policy on land acquisition. There were indications at the meeting that the Nandigram issue would lead to a direct confrontation between the BJP and the Left in Parliament. The BJP has already said it wants question hour suspended and a discussion on Nandigram taken up at once.

However, it was pointed out that at a meeting of party Whips convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.R. Dasmunsi it was decided not to disrupt question hour.

As for official business, Mr. Dasmunsi said 79 Bills were to be taken up; 14 were to be introduced and 16 were to be considered and passed, besides draft legislation which were returned to either House by the Standing Committee with their reports. Of these Bills, two are of “high priority” as they replace ordinances: the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Bill and the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill.

As for the Women’s Reservation Bill, the Minister said it would not be brought in now as “comprehensive consensus” continued to be “elusive.”

However, the UPA government was committed to it as the measure is part of the Common Minimum Programme.