Hitting out at Congress, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said that the opposition party was not allowing Parliament to function even after the Prime Minister attended the House and accused it of “shying” away from debate as it has run out of facts and issues. The Information and Broadcasting Minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House for the third day as he wanted to participate in the debate but the Opposition, particularly Congress, behaved “irresponsibly” by rushing to the Well of the House.
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He accused the Congress of trying to mislead the people but all these things are “boomeranging” on it.
Although the Houses of Parliament witnessing hardly any work since the Winter Session began mid-November, Naidu expressed confidence that all pending bills will get passed during this session.
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“The Opposition particularly Congress totally stands exposed. They were saying that PM is not coming to the House and not participating in debate and accused him of giving lectures outside Parliament.
“This is the third day that PM came to Parliament. He wanted to participate in the debate. We (govt) have also made our intention clear, the PM will not only be present, he will intervene as and when required. At the end, the Finance Minister will reply to the debate,” Naidu said.
He said the Congress was alone in the House today as other parties did not join them in the Well of the House.
“The cat is out of the bag, they have run out of arguments. They are shying away from the debate as they have no issue. They have been exposed. They started creating ‘hungama’. At the end of the day, in the presence of the PM, the House was adjourned.
“So it clearly proves they have been trying to change the goal post from time to time. By bringing out some reasons or the other, they do not want debate to happen or House to function. They do not have any facts,” he said.
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day after Opposition uproar, demanding apology by the PM for certain remarks made against them over demonetisation while the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day due to unabated opposition protests over the same issue.
Asked when the pending bills would be taken up with only a few days left for this session to end and what was the way forward, Naidu expressed confidence that all bills would get passed.
“You should ask this question to Mallikarjun Kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad (of Congress) and also the parties which are coming to the Well. We are well within our right. We are saying debate, discuss and decide. They are saying we will not allow. How can I say on their behalf. But as a former parliamentary affairs minister, I am still confident, all the bills will be passed,” he told reporters.
He said that when the House reassembled at 2 PM today, the agenda item was on the issue of remonetisation.
“The PM was present. Why Congress did not allow the debate. They again came to the Well of the House and started making irresponsible comments and raising slogans against the PM,” he said.
He said after the PM came to Rajya Sabha in the morning, he himself stood up and said that since the PM is here, either the question hour or the debate should start.
He said that the chair asked the House whether it wanted debate or question and the Congress said they did not want question hour. He said that he had said yes when the chair asked him if the government was willing to debate.
“The Congress did not cooperate. They came to the Well of the House, created ‘hungama’ and did not allow the debate to go on. When the House reassembled, they again created ‘hungama’, they criticised the leader of the House, then they attacked deputy chairman, made sarcastic and defamatory comments against the chair which were expunged.
“It is a pitiable situation to see the chair has to expunge the remarks. Entire House should have come together to condemn this but Congress leader P Chidambaram came to the defence of Jairam Ramesh,” he said.
He said that the Congress party should have a clear stand over the step of demonetisation taken by the Prime Minister, either they are with it or not. “If you are (in its favour) then say it. If there are shortcomings in it, say that as well,” he said.
“They want to show the House in a poor light. They are thinking they are showing the government in poor light. They are getting exposed,” he said.