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Meeting to end Parliament logjam must discuss action against BJP trio, says Congress

Saturday, 1 August,New Delhi: Upping the ante ahead of Monday’s all-party meeting convened by the government, Congress on Saturday insisted that the issue of action against three top BJP leaders should be on the agenda if the deadlock in Parliament is to be broken.

Before the start of the third week of the Monsoon session, which has so far been a stalled affair due to the opposition’s protests over the Lalit Modi controversy and Vyapam scam, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also hit out at Home Minister Rajnath Singh, saying there was no need for anybody to lecture Congress on fighting terror.The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha told reporters that the Home Minister was attempting to create polarisation by talking about “Hindu terrorism” and diverting attention away from the “failures” of the government.

“The government which released dreaded militants and flew them to Afghanistan should not lecture us on terrorism,” Azad said in an apparent reference to the then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh flying to Kandahar accompanied by militants who were freed in the wake of the IC-814 hijacking in December, 1999.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters, Azad said, “We have no objection to holding discussions to break the logjam, but it should be based on what action is taken against Union Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje (in connection with the Lalit Modi row) and (Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan) over the Vyapam scam”.

“It (the three BJP leaders’ fate) should be on the agenda for the discussions,” said Azad, emphasising that Congress was keen on the passage of important Bills in the current session of Parliament, which has faced disruptions for the last two weeks.

The party had on Friday made it clear that its participation in an all-party meeting to break the deadlock depended on a “tangible” proposal from the Prime Minister on the opposition’s demands.The Congress’s response comes at a time when the government has attempted to reach out to the opposition by convening an all-party meet on Monday.