Setting the tone for the upcoming Monsoon session, BJP on Sunday, July 19, decided against being defensive over the controversies related to Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan and would brazen it out in Parliament which is set to be stormy over these issues.

BJP chief Amit Shah held strategy meetings with various party colleagues, including union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Piyush Goyal as well as party spokespersons during which Raje, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, was also present.

Making it evident that there will be no resignations, the meeting discussed how to counter the opposition attack in Parliament during the session beginning on July 21 and harmonising of the response of the government and the party on these issues, sources said.

Congress has threatened to disrupt Parliament if its demands for ouster of Raje, External Affairs Minister Swaraj and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Chouhan are not agreed upon.

Raje is under attack for her links with former IPL Chairman Lalit Modi who is facing ED probe. Swaraj is also accused of helping Lalit Modi. Chouhan is under the opposition fire in Vyapam scam.

BJP does not want to be seen on the defensive on the controversial issues plaguing the party for the last few months, the sources said.

Among the party’s media faces who met Shah were M J Akbar, Shrikant Sharma and Sambit Patra.

Besides pressing for removal of Swaraj, opposition has indicated that it will also target HRD Minister Smriti Irani, who is facing charges related to an educational certificate.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh may also be targeted in connection with a rice scam.

The ruling BJP, on its part, is likely to train its guns on Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh of Congress, who is embroiled in a disproportionate assets case.

In an indication of the challenges his government is likely to face in Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened the maiden meeting of all NDA constituents on Monday, July 20, to deliberate the strategy to counter the opposition.

Indian Express

Before meeting the allies at his residence, Modi may also attend two separate all-party meetings called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to discuss ways to ensure a smooth session.

Sensing the opposition heat awaiting his government in Parliament, Modi had on Friday acknowledged that there will be a ‘muqabla’ (contest).

While the BJP-led NDA commands an absolute majority in Lok Sabha, it lacks numbers in the Upper House where Congress is the largest party and holds key to the passage of the crucial legislations, including GST and land bill.

Senior NDA ministers had on July 16 held a meeting to chalk out the strategy for pushing the government’s legislative business in view of the opposition parties closing ranks on various issues.

The government has finalised 35 items of business for the monsoon session, which included nine bills pending in Rajya Sabha and four pending in Lok Sabha, besides introduction of 11 new bills.