The Narendra Modi government may just have screwed up the 30-day winter session of Parliament that begins on November 16. Though inadvertently, it has given a divided Opposition to unite and corner the BJP-led NDA, just before the Assembly elections in Punjab, Goa and Uttar Pradesh.
The two controversial events of the recent past — the suicide of a former Indian Army soldier Ram Kishan Grewal and the manner in which eight SIMI under-trials were killed in an encounter in Bhopal on Monday (October 31) — are likely to invite filibuster in this session.
To add to the BJP's woes, the third dimension has emerged in the form of the missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, who reportedly had scuffle with ABVP.
Ironically, it is during this session that the Centre has the responsibility to pass the two enabling GST legislations — the Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) Bills — to keep its date with the GST roll-out from April 1 next year.
The Madhya Pradesh government's narrative on the encounter in which eight under-trials belonging to the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) were eliminated hours after their escape from a high-security prison in Bhopal on Monday morning has been challenged by many, some of whom have called it "fake" and demanded a judicial probe into it.
The suicide of Grewal and the subsequent handling of the situation in Delhi over the past two days has given the Opposition to accuse of indulging in strong-arm tactics against those questioning the government.
Shashi Tharoor, a senior Congress Lok Sabha member and a one-time admirer of Modi, slammed the manner in which Rahul Gandhi was treated, comparing it to the Janata Party's attitude towards the then Congress leader Indira Gandhi.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) November 2, 2016
Keen to put the BJP on the defensive, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has upped the ante on the issue by offering Rs 1 crore as compensation to the family members of Grewal.