Modi government cannot brush aside opposition and impose any measure without proper discussion in Parliament, Rahul Gandhi today said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused Congress of holding back India’s development march by stalling Parliament. Criticising BJP for accusing Congress of blocking GST Bill, he said, “Parliament should function, but it needs discussion. It is not like RSS shakha. India is a country with diversity and not a closed system where decisions can be imposed.”
“The BJP-led government must realise that Parliament is a forum for discussion and nothing can be imposed without allowing opposition to express its voice and views. It should not brush aside opposition,” the Congress Vice President said during an interaction with mediapersons here.
He was speaking on a day Modi accused Congress of indulging in “negative politics”, saying 40 MPs were “conspiring” and “blocking” parliamentary process, thereby holding back India’s development march. Claiming that the BJP leadership did not believe in consensus and discussion, Rahul Gandhi said the Modi Government expected Congress to function like a ruling party.
“Being an opposition party, Congress needs to express its views in Parilament as it represents the people and their voice. But, the BJP is not allowing us to present our voice,” the AICC Vice-President said adding senior Congress leaders were prevented from placing their views on GST.
Maintaining that Congress had initiated GST, he said the GST bill has two-three fundamental shortcomings like the maximum tax slab of 25 per cent and the dispute resolution mechanism and there should be proper discussion to address these issues. Stressing that getting GST bill passed and implementing are two different things, Gandhi said it would take at least two years to ensure proper implementation.
Asked about the winter session of Parliament, Gandhi said Congress defends the interests of the poor, weak, tribals, dalits, farmers and labourers and would continue to do so. Brushing aside the question on possibility of his being elevated to the post of Congress President, he said, “The way I look at my job, it is to mobilise the party and give it strength and energy.”
Accusing BJP-led government of trying to run the country in a centralised fashion, Gandhi said Congress played a significant role with regard to land bill and defeated BJP on that front. Hitting out at the Modi government, he said certain “dangerouas” developments have taken place during NDA rule. While a clear divide is developing between the poor and the well off, “venom is being spread among communities”, he alleged.
Accusing Modi of telling lies and making hollow promises, the Congress leader said the BJP leader is in the habit of telling whatever comes in his mind and “there is no limit to his talk which are never translated into action”. Taking a dig at Modi over corruption issue, he said the Prime Minister had edeclared “na khaunga, na khanedunga” but now he has “entered into a pact” with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and investigation into chitfund scam had slowed down.
Similar are the stories of Vypam in Madhya Pradesh and Lalit Modi episode in which names of external affairs minister and Rajasthan chief minister are linked, Gandhi said. Referring to farmers and rural masses, he said during UPA’s rule poor people had got a feeling that there was empathy for them which is not there during NDA regime. Reiterating his ‘suit boot ki sarkar’ barb, Gandhi said people can see “the PM wearing suit worth Rs 10 lakh”. On agriculture, he said farming sector in India cannot do without support but there is no focus on agriculture or steps required to safeguard farmers’ interest.
Regarding Bihar election, Rahul refused to make any prediction but said Congress has a formidable alliance in the poll-bound state.