Parliament still in logjam, but breakthrough may be imminent

Although the bedlam in Parliament continued today, with both houses being adjourned for most of the day's session, a report suggested that there was a breakthrough in the all-party talks called by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to resolve the logjam, and the finance bill will be taken up on Tuesday.

Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath is expected to meet the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj of the Bharatiya Janata Party, in this regard today. The BJP, however, has officially stuck to its line that both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and law minister Ashwini Kumar must resign before Parliament can function.

The BJP today already forced two adjournments by refusing to cease its ruckus demanding the resignation of the two over the coal blocks allocation issue. Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were last adjourned till noon, but there was no sign that the houses will be allowed to function when they reconvene.

Parliament resumed today after a wasted week that saw adjournments and uproar over various issues such as the 2G scam, the 'coalgate' scam and the brutal rape of a child in Delhi.

Reacting to the Prime Minister's remark on Sunday that the opposition was making the Indian Parliament an international laughing-stock, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said the government is equally responsible for the smooth functioning of the house. "We have become a laughing stock not because of the Opposition, but because of the government," he said.

Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Shukla however said it would not help to blame the PM, who was elected in 2009 defeating the "iron man" (L K Advani) projected by Sinha. "His (Sinha's) observation can't be seen as an expression of the voice of the people," Shukla said.