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As opposition refuses to budge, BJP to tap LS majority to pass Budget

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Sources said the decision came after repeated attempts to reach out failed to assuage the opposition, leading to seven straight days of washout.

New Delhi: The BJP is likely to use its brute majority to push the finance bill through the Lok Sabha as opposition protests have washed out house proceedings for seven straight days.

Sources in the party said the decision came after repeated attempts to reach out failed to assuage the opposition, protesting, among other things, against the alleged Rs 12,700 crore PNB swindle involving diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.

Party strategists are understood to be waiting for the outcome of a meeting of senior opposition leaders called Tuesday by Congress’ Sonia Gandhi before making their stand clear.

Sonia will host a dinner for opposition parties to cobble together an anti-BJP alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The guests include representatives of parties that have been on the same page as the Congress to take on the government in and outside Parliament.

“We will wait to see whether the opposition decides against or for undertaking legislative business in Parliament. If they decide against it, we will have to pass the finance bill amid the uproar,” a senior party leader said. “We can’t let a constitutional crisis occur because of an adamant opposition,” the leader added.

The BJP, even without NDA allies, has enough seats in the 545-seat Lok Sabha (including two nominated members) — 274 — to get the Finance Bill 2018 passed. Since the legislation is a money bill, the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP lacks the numbers, has no power to hold it up and is obligated to return it to the Lok Sabha in two weeks.

The BJP Monday issued a whip to its Lok Sabha members to be present in the house from March 13 to March 15.

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