Blaming the government for the continued disruption in Parliament, Congress on Thursday said it was willing to consider the ruling party’s proposal to break the logjam but accused the treasury benches of failing to come up with any suggestion to ensure smooth functioning of the House.
With Parliament failing to transact any significant business for 15th day in a row during the current winter session, Congress agreed with President Pranab Mukherjee’s call for allowing Parliament to function, and said it was a good advice given to the government. Congress’ senior spokesperson Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the government of being instrumental in creating disturbance and disruption in Parliament and said the ruling party was behaving in a manner as if it was still in opposition.
“It is for the government to run Parliament. Let the government come forward with a proposal. Let us see, we can consider if it comes. But there is no suggestion from the government side so far,” he said.
Azad, who is the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said the government was playing the role both of the government and the opposition and “it is least interested” in running Parliament.
“The government is least interested in running Parliament. They are more happy in announcing decisions outside Parliament and there has been no initiative forthcoming from government. It seems the government is not interested. It is provoking the opposition all the time.
Ministers are giving provocative statements all the time. This is not the way to run the government,” he said.
Agreeing with the President’s advice to ensure Parliament functions, Azad said he has said a good thing and his advice is for the government.
“I totally agree with the President and hold government fully responsible for the current stalemate. The ruling party is instrumental in creating disturbances in the House. It is the government’s duty to run Parliament. The MPs fight less, but Ministers fight more. It is an advice to the government.
“It is for the government to come forward. This government has still not realised whether it was in government or in the opposition. They are still playing the same rule as they used to play when in the opposition,” he said.
Naidu slams Opposition for protests
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu hit out the opposition for observing a ‘Black Day’ on Thursday to mark one month of demonetisation, saying they are actually observing “Black Money Support Day”.
“Our opponents particularly the Congress I am told are observing a Black Day. I say what they are observing is a ‘Black Money Support Day’.
“Dharna by opposition parties near Gandhi statute in Parliament premises is a big ‘tamasha’ and an insult to the Father of Nation,” Naidu said.
Opposition parties are observing ‘Black Day’ on Thursday to mark completion of a month of the demonetisation announcement.
As part of the protests, the opposition leaders held a dharna at Gandhi statue in Parliament premises.
The minister observed that praise has poured in from abroad as well on the demonetisation decision.
“I don’t understand why some people are observing black day. I can’t understand,” he added.
Prez anguished over House paralysis
In a stinging attack on the opposition over Parliamentary paralysis, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said the House is not a place for dharna and disruption which amounts to “gagging of majority” by the minority.
He told Parliamentarians that they are meant to discuss and transact business and not to disrupt.
“Disruption is totally unacceptable in Parliamentary system. People send representatives to speak and not to sit on dharna and not to create any trouble on the floor,” he said speaking on “Electoral reforms for a stronger democracy” on the occasion of Defence Estates Day Lecture here.
Himself a veteran Parliamentarian before he became the President, Mukherjee said, “Disruption means you are hurt, you are gagging majority. Majority never participates in this disruption. Only minority comes to the well, shouts slogans, stops the proceedings and creates a situation in which the Chair has no option but to adjourn the House. This is totally unacceptable”.