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Parliament’s monsoon session commence tomorrow

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Updated: 04:53 GMT, Jul 21, 2015 | Published: 07:12 GMT, Jul 20, 2015 |
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Two days before Parliament’s monsoon session begins, the BJP held a series of meetings on Sunday to counter the expected Congress offensive on Vyapam scam and the Lalit Modi controversy.

While one meeting was held at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence — attended by senior leaders and ministers including Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and others another was held in the morning at the residence of party chief Amit Shah.

The ministers who had been targeted by the opposition over links with tainted cricket tycoon Lalit Modi – Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj – also attended the meetings. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was held up by bad weather, met Mr Shah later in the evening.

The party, which ruled out any resignation by its ministers, plans to brazen it out in Parliament by highlighting the UPA’s “history of scams,” sources said. The Chief Ministers had been called in to strengthen the party’s defence in terms of facts. Party sources indicated that Sunday’s meetings were also meant to ensure that the government and the party were on the same page on the matter.  

On Monday, PM Modi is expected to meet senior National Democratic Alliance constituents to present a united front in Parliament. At stake are several crucial legislations- including the Goods and Services Tax bill and the land bill- which have to be passed by the Upper House, Rajya Sabha, where the ruling NDA lacks majority.

The Congress, meanwhile, has hardened its position. In the afternoon, at a press conference, its senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Hope the Prime Minister starts Parliament by announcing the resignation of the scam accused… the minimum we want is the resignation of Rajasthan CM, Madhya Pradesh CM, Union ministers and MPs involved and ministers from Maharashtra.”

Mr Azad’s party indicated that if the Prime Minister acts against “scam-tainted ministers” then the passage of bills would be made very easy.