New Delhi: The Opposition, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), along with some of the allies are gearing up to corner the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government on several issues during Parliament's Budget Session, which starts on Monday. The poor show by the Congress during the recent Assembly elections in five states has left the UPA vulnerable to demanding allies and an aggressive Opposition.
The combined opposition and aggressive allies like the Trinamool Congress are likely to trouble the government, especially on the issue of Centre vs states relationship.
BJP leaders Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Kirti Azad outlined their party's strategy, saying that price rise, slowdown in the economic growth and terrorism are some of the issues on which the government needs to answer. The BJP also said that the government must clarify on the fate of the Lokpal Bill, which is yet to be passed by the Rajya Sabha.
"The credibility of the UPA Government has been eroded. It has to take its allies on board before it talks to Opposition. The economy is in a complete mess. Inflation is on the rise. There is a sense of unhappiness on that front. It's almost a virtual collapse," said Rudy.
"We firmly believe that the states are equally concerned about terror. Protests exhibited by states on National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) issue is a matter of concern. We want to engage (Home Minister) Chidambaram on this," he said.
He said that the Government had promised after the Winter Session that the Lokpal Bill would be discussed first in Parliament after the Presidential address.
"It is for the government to see whether the House runs or not. We are there on issues. Government is cornered after the recent defeat. BJP is committed to take up the issue of the people of this country and corner the government," he said.
Rudy was backed by Kirti Azad, who said that the BJP won't allow foreign direct investment in retail.
"FDI is a big no, no. FDI in retail won't come. Nobody is happy with the bill in its present form," said Kirti Azad.
Trying to drive a wedge between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, Kirti Azad said that the BJP is very happy that "we have a lady like Mamata banerjee who works for the betterment of the country".
"If the Prime Minister is saying they have got numbers, we are happy. We will keep on exposing them," he replied when asked about Manmohan Singh's statement that the UPA enjoys majority support in the Lok Sabha.
The UPA Government is hoping to pass the Lokpal Bill and the Right to Education Bill during the Budget Session while the Opposition is planning to take on the government on issues like the NCTC, FDI in retail, ISRO controversy, quota politics and the killing of Indian fishermen by Italian marines.
Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and BJP MP Sushma Swaraj has asked for a calling attention on the issue of Norway taking away the children of a NRI couple.