Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday said the opposition parties had a right to forcefully raise issues in Parliament and said it would be unfair to blame them for the adjournments of the Houses. His comments came minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his speech, indirectly referred to the disruptions in Parliament.
The Rajya Sabha has not been able to transact any serious business for the 17th day in a row due to protests over several issues. Earlier, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which was seeking a special status for Telangana, had called off its disruptive actions. “I want to tell the nation that if democracy is alive in the country, it is because of Parliament…Our protests were never against the Chair or against some particular people. They weren’t politically motivated,” Azad said.
These may “not appear good on TV”, but the MPs raising voice against either on the banking scam, or the Cauvery dispute or for the special status to Andhra Pradesh was part of “discharging their duties towards the nation” and by doing so, the members had no self interest or ulterior motives, he asserted. He said that some media houses portrayed the recent opposition protests as a protest against the Chairman, saying this was not so.
Maintaining that it was unfair to accuse Opposition MPs of fighting and disrupting Parliament, Azad said the doors of these members remained open 24 hours for the people, who have faith in them unlike senior officials who can only meet people during office hours and that too, only through appointments.
Without mentioning the BJP, he said that even the ruling party had protested in such a manner when it was in the opposition and roles in politics often got reversed.