Hours after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi stormed the well of the House, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that the “contrived aggression” was a compulsion as “a section of the Congress leadership” was “facing a palace coup”.
“The reason is very clear: a section of the leadership of the Congress party, because if its inability to lead, has been under pressure… They have been facing a palace coup… It’s a coup within their own party,” said Jaitley, apparently alluding to demands within the Congress for Priyanka Vadra to play a more active role.
“It’s an internal compulsion within the party… For that, you need not drag the House or presiding officer into the debate,” said Jaitley, adding that if Rahul wanted to show he was doing something, it would be better if he led his own party rather than showing this “contrived aggression” and disrupting the House.
“It is just to show to their workers that they are also capable of aggression,” said Jaitley. “I think it is time the party introspects… Questions are being raised about the competence of the leadership,” he added.
In an obvious reference to Rahul’s allegation on the Opposition not being allowed to speak in Parliament, he said, “Some leaders don’t speak at all in the House and then say we are not allowed to speak.” He said senior Congress leaders were participating in every discussion in the House. “There is not a single instance where they are not being allowed to raise issues,” said Jaitley.
Rejecting Rahul’s allegation about only one voice being counted, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was neither dictatorial, nor communal. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu termed Rahul’s protest as a pressure tactic. “The way the major opposition party is behaving in Parliament, I am pained by it,” he said. “You call the Prime Minister names… you say the Prime Minister ran away… The Prime Minister was sitting all the time… You did not have the patience to ask questions… When the PM went away, taking the PM’s name and trying to provoke ruling members so that something happens — this is not good at all,” said Naidu.
“It is not fair to make allegations against the Speaker… I feel these are all pressure tactics… Please don’t adopt pressure tactics against the Speaker,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rahul is learnt to have conveyed his displeasure to veteran BJP leader L K Advani about the Opposition not being allowed to speak on important issues in Parliament. According to sources, Advani told him it was a serious allegation and expressed his disapproval at the manner in which the Opposition had conducted itself.