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NDA not to back 'illegitimate' Govt's agenda

NDA not to back 'illegitimate' Govt's agenda

Author: Pioneer News Service
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: July 29, 2008

'Supporting Women's Reservation Bill only exception'

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has decided not to support the "illegitimate" Manmohan Singh Government in carrying forward its economic reforms agenda.

Leaders of the main Opposition -- including the BJP, Shiv Sena, Shiromani Akali Dal, Biju Janata Dal, Janata Dal (U) and others met here on Monday and asserted that the new Government which would come to power after the next parliamentary elections should take this process forward.

Chidambaram had recently indicated that the Government would try to seek the cooperation of parties outside the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in taking forward the economic reforms that had hit a dead end because of the stiff resistance from the UPA's previous allies -- the Communists.

"This Government is immoral.. It survived because of cross-voting. We have decided not to support any of its economic reforms agenda," senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said. The Women's Reservation Bill would be an exception, she clarified.

The NDA leaders also decided against resigning en masse from the Lok Sabha, saying they would fight the Government "in and outside Parliament". Swaraj said, "There is no question of turning our back on our responsibility as the main Opposition."

Senior BJP leaders also maintained that there was no plan to move a no-confidence motion against the UPA Government, which proved its majority in Parliament just six days back, and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who has been expelled by the CPI(M).

The NDA also took strong exception to the committee formed by the Speaker to look into the allegations of three whistle-blower MPs, saying that it (the committee) did not represent the character of the House and many major political parties had not been duly represented.

"There already is an 11-member ethics committee. While seven of them found places in the new committee, four have been left behind. Either hand over the matter to the ethics committee or include the left-over members also in the new committee," Swaraj demanded.

Deputy leader of the BJP in Lok Sabha Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who is a member of the committee formed by Chatterjee, would soon meet the Speaker to discuss the issue of including the four left-over MPs in the team.

The NDA also decided to oppose any move by the Government to delay the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament, saying it should ideally have been convened in July and was already a month behind schedule. "Many important matters have to be discussed. We want the session to be convened immediately. The Government should not delay it any further," Swaraj said.

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