As the BJP tries to break the parliamentary logjam and get its legislative agenda on track, the party leadership Tuesday told MPs to refrain from making “provocative” remarks during debates. They were also told not to fall into the “Opposition’s trap of dragging them into controversies to stall business”.
Briefing party MPs about the winter session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told them that their provocative statements were being used by the Opposition to stall the government’s development agenda.
“Exercise restraint was the message in today’s meeting,” said a BJP MP. The MPs were also briefed on the GST Bill by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said members were also briefed about the recent elections, including the one in Bihar where the BJP suffered a defeat, and the need to spread the party ideology.
“MPs were told to speak with understanding and decorum. There is a need to avoid controversy… At a time when the Prime Minister is pushing ahead with his development agenda, many people are unable to digest it and any misstep will allow anti-BJP forces to work it to their benefit. We should avoid making provocative statements,” Naqvi said, quoting Naidu.
However, some MPs expressed displeasure over the “gag order”. “There has been no action against habitual offenders — they keep making provocative remarks. But we have to listen to the lecture,” said a party MP.
According to Naqvi, the debate on “intolerance”, which took place in Lok Sabha in the last two days, had “unmasked” those who were misleading the country.
Speaking to MPs, Naidu said that killing of innocents in the name of religion or caste is a blot on society and has to be condemned fiercely. “Politicising such murders is also a crime and giving the crime communal colour is a sin,” he said.
Naidu also referred to actor Aamir Khan’s recent statement that his wife had discussed the idea of leaving the country. “A fleeting thought of leaving country under perceived lack of security and justice speaks very poorly of the person’s thought process,” he said.
“One can say with conviction that the so-called protests were orchestrated from behind the scene, stage managed for political purposes. What is happening now is a clash of ideologies mixed with self-interests,” he told MPs. Pointing out that social intolerance exists all over the world, Naidu said the situation in India is “thousand times better than any other country”.
Jaitley told MPs that the economic growth of 7.4 per cent in the last quarter was a positive sign and will help the government take development to the poor. He also spoke about the “constructive discussion” the PM had with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh. “Jaitley said the Congress leaders have been explained our position and that the government is waiting for its response,” said a party MP.-With PTI inputs