Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “encouraging young talent” in Parliament and acts in the “most democratic manner” while taking decisions, government said on Thursday dismissing criticism of his functioning by the Opposition.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu rejected allegations that there was centralisation of power in the hands of the Prime Minister and that he was “terrorising” the bureaucracy, saying it was mere “propaganda” by a “direction-less” Opposition.
Repudiating suggestions that the PM was reluctant to face questions in Parliament, Naidu said, “Questions are answered in Parliament as per the practice in Parliament… and they are answered effectively. Prime Minister is engaged in encouraging young talent, giving opportunity to young talent.”
He said the opposition to junior ministers being given opportunity is difficult to fathom. “If there is any need for supplementation, Prime Minister is sitting there behind. That has been the practice. PM is giving opportunity to the MoS. Why anyone should have any grievances for that?,” Naidu said at a Meet the Press programme at the Press Club of India.
He was asked as to how often the Prime Minister answers questions in Parliament as there have been days fixed in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha during the question hour for him. Naidu released a booklet “Tidings of a new beginning” on the recently concluded Budget session of Parliament, the first after Modi government came to power.
The occasion was also utilised by him to list out achievements of the government in the first 100 days. At the outset, Naidu dismissed as opposition propaganda that power is concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minister.
Noting that the Prime Minister acts in the “most democratic manner”, he said that he takes views of all his colleagues before a decision is arrived at. “Where is centralisation? Opposition friends are unhappy….adrift and direction-less”.
He dismissed as absurd Opposition’s contention that the Prime Minister was “terrorising” bureaucracy. “Where is the question of terrorising bureaucracy. Congress has not been able to recover from the realities of the situation.”
Asked whether the appointment of the Lokpal would face problems in the absence of a Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, he said mere absence of one member of the Selection Committee “will not create a void”.
“I don’t want to react on an issue which is there before the highest court of the land. Secondly, as far as the institutions, the position is very clear, if such institution has been created….mere absence of one member of that committee will not create a void. That is the factual…,” he said.
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.