With ITS coalition government in Karnataka plunging into further crisis, the Congress on Monday accused the BJP of “hatching a conspiracy” to pull down state governments ruled by Opposition parties. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh denied the charge and said BJP had no role in political developments in the southern state.
“Whatever is happening currently in Karnataka, we have nothing to do with that,” Singh said. “We have no history of destabilising the governments by pressuring legislators of other parties or by tempting them. The BJP is committed to protecting democracy,” Singh said in Lok Sabha, amid loud protests from the Opposition benches.
Singh was responding to Congress leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s allegation during Zero Hour that the BJP had throttled democracy by hatching a conspiracy to pull down the Congress-JD (S) government.
The Defence Minister also took a swipe at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, who recently resigned as party president. “The trend of resigning was not started by us. It is Rahul Gandhi who started it and asked his partymen to submit their resignations…and now the trend is set in the Congress. We don’t understand how BJP is responsible for it,” Singh said.
Targeting the government, Chowdhury said, “This government is secretly hatching a conspiracy against the state government. They took our MLAs to a five-star hotel in Mumbai.”
Accusing the government of betraying democracy, he said, “You have won 303 seats (in Lok Sabha) but still your stomach is not full. Your stomach and Delhi Gate now look similar.”
After the minister’s reply, Congress members started shouting and waving placards with “Save Democracy” written on them, despite Speaker Om Birla’s repeated requests to stay calm.
Meanwhile, T R Baalu of the DMK hit out at the government over the President rejecting two Bills passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly to conduct admissions to medical colleges solely on the basis of Class XII marks. DMK and other Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu have for long demanded exemption of the state from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
Baalu said several students have committed suicide after failing to clear NEET. The DMK leader demanded a reply from the central government on the rejection of the two Bills. Thereafter, DMK members staged a walkout.
As the pandemonium continued, the Speaker adjourned the House for lunch.