Allies with government, opposition stalling reforms: Sibal (Lead)

September 12th, 2012 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Sep 12 (IANS) Asserting that the government’s allies were firmly backing the government, Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal blamed the BJP for sabotaging the passage of key bills in parliament.

“I want to assure you that the allies are firmly behind the government. Even if there are differences, we are capable of pursuading them through discussions and coordination,” Sibal said on the sidelines of a programme here.

He accused the media of trying to create a rift within the government by highlighting “one or two issues” on which there are differences.

“There are several decisions we have made together, there may be one or two decisions where there has been difference of opinion, nothing beyond that. But the media will say that one or two decisions are the only decisions that need to be taken,” Sibal said.

“What about the hundreds of decisions that we have taken together,” he asked.

Allies such as the Trinamool Congress — which is the second-largest constituent in the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) — have been at loggerheads with the Congress, the alliance leader.

The Trinamool, headed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has voiced opposition to various UPA policies and decisions related to the Teesta river water sharing with Bangladesh, foreign direct investment in retail and reforms in the banking and insurance sectors.

“We don’t have any problems with the allies. It is the opposition which is stalling everything, whether it is discussions in the standing committee of parliament or on the floor of the house. They are creating roadblocks in the growth story of India,” Sibal said.

“If the opposition doesn’t take part in the standing committee discussions what will the allies do? It is the standing committee where the insurance bill is not agreed through, what will our allies do?” he added.

On the opposition put up by alliance partner Trinamool, Sibal said: “They are our allies, there is no question of problem with them. We will be able to persuade our allies as sometimes we have been able to persuade you.”

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