Congress responsible for Parliament impasse: Minister

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar on Thursday held the Congress responsible for the Parliament impasse and said the opposition party did not want to debate demonetisation in both the houses. "From Day One, they pursued a confused and disjointed strategy in both the houses. In the Rajya Sabha, where their numbers are more, they did not have any condition for the debate on the first day. In the Lok Sabha, where their numbers are less, they wanted a voting," Ananth Kumar said. "The whole debate was lost to the myopic strategy of the Congress leadership and its Vice-President Rahul Gandhi..." he said. "There was a lot for the government to say and a lot of things for the oppostition to raise, criticise and analyse," the minister said. Another senior minister, on the condition of anonymity, blamed the Congress Vice-President for "gagging" Parliament. "In every BAC (Business Advisory Committee) meeting, time was allocated for bills, for the supplementary demand for grants and other topics. But the opposition did not let the house function. Rahul Gandhi is the mastermind behind the gagging of Parliament; the only other time it has happened was in 1975-76," the minister said. The government, meanwhile, is hopeful of getting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, passed in the Lok Sabha on Friday, with the opposition giving "positive signals" towards this end, informed sources said. Friday is the last day of the winter session, which began on November 16, and the signals from both the government and opposition sides indicate that Parliament may not function properly, just as was the case with the rest of the session. The winter session of Parliament is headed for a washout due to continued disruptions over demonetisation and other issues.

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