BJP sticks to resignation demands, back-channel talks on

New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) The opposition BJP Tuesday blamed the Congress for the logjam in parliament, adding that it would allow the houses to function only if Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal quit.

Meanwhile, sources said the Congress was in informal talks with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to find a way out of the impasse.

The BJP has been demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well.

The main opposition party Tuesday said that while its demand for the prime minister’s resignation remained intact, it would allow parliament to function if Bansal and Ashwani Kumar resign.

“The Congress is responsible for the parliament logjam. Its recalcitrant attitude has led to disruptions,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said Tuesday.

“We are demanding the prime minister’s resignation, but we will allow parliament to function if the law minister and railway minister resign,” he said.

The decision was taken in the meeting of the BJP’s parliamentary board Tuesday morning.

“When they will be removed from the council of ministers or resign, only then will we let parliament function and allow the food security bill and the land acquisition bill to be passed,” BJP leader Gopinath Munde told reporters here.

A senior BJP leader indicated that they would consider the option to discuss the issue in an-all party meeting which is being called by the prime minister.

A few days ago, the BJP had announced that they would not participate in any meeting called by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar or Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath.

As per the sources, BJP leader Ananth Kumar has spoken to Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

While Bansal’s nephew was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly taking a bribe for the appointment of a member of the Railway Board, Ashwani Kumar has come under attack in the Supreme Court for vetting the CBI report on coal blocks allocation.

BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said: “Till the Supreme Court conducts an independent inquiry, the truth will not come out.”

“The court’s monitoring is important for every probe,” he added.

A war of words broke out between the Congress and the opposition over the National Food Security Bill, which the government tried to debate in the Lok Sabha and get passed Monday.

The opposition continued to disrupt the house over the coal blocks allocation issue as Food Minister K.V. Thomas moved the bill, saying it was a key UPA legislation that would give the right to subsidised grain to around 67 percent of the population.

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