The ruling BJP-led NDA has something to relish about the happenings in the opposition camp. NCP insists on keeping Congress on board, and TMC toes a different line.
New Delhi: Frictions in the opposition camp have come to the fore in more ways than one.
The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has decided to keep a distance from Congress and 13 other parties vis-à-vis the move to boycott the proceedings in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament and insisted that it would not be a "rubber stamp" to any party.
"We are not electoral allies of Congress. We fought the polls in May alone. We want opposition unity, but we are not duty bound to be anybody's rubber stamp," said TMC Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O'Brien. He pointed out that some other parties are in alliance with a party (Congress).
The TMC's stand is that RJD, DMK and the CPI (M) have been electoral allies of the Congress, while on the other hand, two Maharashtra-based parties, NCP and Shiv Sena, run a coalition government with the Congress. But the Trinamool Congress has lately contested elections on its own, especially in West Bengal. On the question of boycotting Parliament, O'Brien told reporters: "We will not boycott Parliament."
Several opposition parties want to boycott the Parliament session against the suspension of 12 MPs in the Rajya Sabha for the rest of the session. Twelve members, including six from Congress, two each from Shiv Sena and TMC and one each from The CPI and The CPI (M), were suspended for their misconduct during the Monsoon session of Parliament.
In Mumbai, Maharashtra Minister and NCP Leader Nawab Malik virtually counselled TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, who is now visiting the metropolitan, to appreciate the fact that the 'desired' opposition unity is not possible by keeping Congress out.
"Trinamool Congress is expanding outside Bengal, and it's the right of every political party. However, we believe that a united opposition front is not possible, excluding Congress. Sharad Pawar sahib has clarified this several times," said Malik, also known as a close aide of the NCP chief. Shiv Sena and AAP also have been trying to maintain a distance from Congress.
Meanwhile, Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu expressed unhappiness over the continuous disruption of House proceedings since the Winter Session of Parliament got underway on Monday.
"The bitter experience of the last Monsoon Session still continues to haunt most of us. I was expecting and waiting for the leading lights of the House to take the lead in expressing outrage over what happened in the last session," Mr Naidu said.
On Tuesday, the Rajya Sabha Chairman rejected the demand of the Opposition parties and especially Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge to revoke the suspension of 12 MPs. Mr Naidu said that the "decision is final" and "…. I am not considering" the request to revoke. "You tried to mislead the House, disturb the House, ransack the House, and you are giving me lessons?" he asserted.