Congress Will Disrupt Parliament, Pledge Gandhis at Meeting

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Congress Will Disrupt Parliament, Pledge Gandhis at Meeting

FILE: Congres President Sonia Gandhi with her son and and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi (Associated Press photo)


New Delhi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this morning that he "is hopeful of a constructive session of parliament"; the Congress, however, has a markedly different approach.

Its top leaders, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, met with the party's Lok Sabha MPs to resolve that the Congress will disrupt Parliament, and hold protests outside brandishing placards and black bands, demanding action against three top BJP leaders.

The Congress has a slim 44 MPs in the Lok Sabha. But its aggressive tactics will make it tough for the government to conduct business; urgent reforms like the National Goods and Sales Tax or GST are pending. In the Rajya Sabha, the government is in a minority and the Congress' support is needed to push through important legislation.

Congress leaders including Mr Gandhi have said the government must remove Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for helping tainted cricket tycoon Lalit Modi in his dealings with officials in the UK, where he has lived since 2010.

The Congress has also sought the dismissal of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, whose state is mired in allegations of a dark conspiracy that saw bribes being paid for government jobs, and the deaths of nearly 30 people who were linked to the alleged scam.

"No resignations will be coming," union minister Venkaiah Naidu has said, rejecting what he called the opposition's "ultimatum". However, like other BJP leaders, he has said the government "is willing to debate all issues in parliament."

Mrs Swaraj has said she is keen to explain the charges against her of helping Lalit Modi. The billionaire obtained urgent travel papers last year to accompany his wife to Portugal after Mrs Swaraj's intervention.


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