Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

Stirred BJP plans to take the ‘Battle of States’ to Congress

- Kumar Uttam letters@hindustant­imes.com

NEW DELHI: The government, which faced a rough time in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, plans to target the Congress by raising in Parliament corruption charges against its leaders and state government­s.

As Parliament opened for the 24-day monsoon session on Tuesday, the Opposition stalled the proceeding­s in the Rajya Sabha, demanding resignatio­ns of Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and chief ministers of Rajasthan (Vasundhara Raje) and Madhya Pradesh (Shivraj Singh Chouhan).

“If state matters concerning Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are allowed to be raised, then there are several members who would want to raise issues about other states. Is the Congress ready for a debate on all those issues,” telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The ‘battle of states’ will be fought in the Lok Sabha that was adjourned immediatel­y after paying tributes to a sitting member who passed away recently.

The government, sources said, was keen to put its majority in the Lok Sabha to good use to hit back at the Opposition, which is unlikely to give any concession to the treasury benches in the Upper House, where it outnumbers the ruling combine.

Party members have been asked to raise in both the Houses various scandals that have been reported from the Congress- ruled states, BJP sources said. The members will seek discussion on bar bribery case and solar power scam in Kerala, far mer suicides in Karnataka, flood-relief scandal in Uttarakhan­d and allegation­s of corruption against Himachal chief minister Virbhadra Singh.

The BJP, which has decided not to bow down to the Opposition’s demand for resignatio­ns of its ministers, will also target the Congress over recent revelation­s by a US-based firm that it paid bribes to secure projects in Goa and Assam.

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