BJP Plans Strategy Meet Ahead of Parliament's Winter Session

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BJP Plans Strategy Meet Ahead of Parliament's Winter Session

The Winter Session will happen in the backdrop of BJP suffering a massive defeat in Bihar, which has further emboldened the opposition.


New Delhi:  In the wake of the Bihar assembly elections, another battle awaits the NDA - the winter session of Parliament. On November 22, the BJP leaders will meet allies to chart out a strategy to counter the opposition plan to disrupt the session, and pass several key bills, including the flagship Goods and Services Tax or the GST bill.

The meeting was earlier scheduled for Wednesday, but was postponed following the death of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal.

The opposition parties -- including the Left, the JD(U) and the RJD -- have submitted notices in both Houses, seeking not merely a debate but a resolution on the issue of intolerance.

The government is ready for debate, but resolution is a tricky parliamentary tool. The united opposition can use it to target the Prime Minister, the BJP and its affiliates for its charge of prevailing sense of intolerance.

For the BJP, the first step is to keep the NDA flock together - especially in view of ally Shiv Sena's recent stance. The Sena has blamed the BJP for the loss in Bihar. During the monsoon session, it had gone against the NDA line on the land bill.

The government is also likely signal its readiness to get the opposition on board by extending a offer of talks on November 22.

The key to the peace negotiations is the Congress response, since along with the RJD and JD(U) -- which did well in the Bihar elections -- it is the most likely to flex political muscles, unite the opposition and spearhead the attack in Parliament.

Though the Congress leadership may decide the strategy later, sources say the party is in two minds over yet another washed out parliamentary session -- especially after President Pranab Mukherjee's discussion on the subject with Congress president Sonia Gandhi on November 3.  

"Top leaders are not averse to a direct dialogue with the Congress leadership. We know the session will start on a stormy note, but we wish after that normal functioning will return," a leader said.


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