New Delhi, Sept. 7: Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley patted their own backs today and said the BJP played “responsible Opposition” to get social welfare bills like food security and land acquisition passed, taking credit ironically for the legislations the Congress eyes to use as “game changer” in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP that had forced a virtual washout of the last budget session of Parliament over the coal block allocations said that this time they felt it was “not prudent to stall the House indefinitely”.
“The BJP looks upon this session with a sense of satisfaction. We got issues of public importance discussed and bills passed. We also blocked some bills the government wanted to push hastily”, leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, said.
Ironically, it is widely believed, the monsoon session that came to an end today helped the government to substantially overcome the blot of policy paralysis close to elections. The government not only pushed the pension reform legislation, it got the food security and land acquisition bills, considered as “game changer” for the elections, passed.
Asked how the BJP was taking credit for bills like food security and land acquisition that have been termed as pet schemes of Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul, Sushma underlined the principal Opposition’s role.
“Do you think the government would have got the bills passed without the Opposition,” Sushma remarked.
Asked why the BJP allowed Parliament to run despite the fact that the demands the party made regarding filing of an FIR in the missing coal files case and nomination of JPC members were swept aside by the government, Jaitley said that blocking Parliament indefinitely was not prudent.
Asked, then why the party forced a virtual washout of the budget session over the coal block allocation scandal, Sushma justified it and said: “It was the right tactic at that time.” Sushma said the BJP would have been labelled anti-poor and anti-farmer had it blocked the food security and land acquisition bills.
The two leaders said no matter what the government does, its image was not going to improve, given the state of the economy and the credibility crisis. “This government suffers from credibility crisis and is on the defensive over the coal scam and the mess in the economy,” Jaitley, leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said.
Sushma said the only regret with the monsoon session was the Telangana bill. She said that she had demanded that the bill to create a separate Telangana state be brought in the current session but the government did not bring it.