Updated: August 4, 2021 7:45:07 am
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday accused the Opposition of “insulting” Parliament, the people of India, Constitution and democracy, while advising BJP MPs to maintain “sanyam (restraint)” in face of protests stalling the two Houses.
Addressing a BJP parliamentary party meeting, Modi “told MPs to maintain sanyam despite the provocative slogans and placards of the Opposition. He advised us to be calm and focus on work”, said a BJP MP.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the PM was particularly agitated over TMC MP Derek O’ Brien accusing the government of rushing through Bills without a debate. “The Prime Minister was anguished about the language used,” Joshi said. In a tweet questioning the pace at which Bills were being passed, O’Brien had tweeted if the government was “passing laws or making papri chaat”.
According to BJP leaders, Modi also referred to TMC MP Shantanu Sen snatching a statement on the Pegasus spyware issue from Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnav’s hands. “This happened for the first time as well that these people snatch papers from a minister’s hand and don’t apologise for doing so. This shows arrogance on the part of the Opposition,” Joshi quoted the PM as saying.
Minister of State, Parliamentary Affairs, V Muraleedharan called the tweet about the passage of Bills “derogatory of proceedings (of Parliament) and against the esteem of the elected representatives of the country”. “The Prime Minister also mentioned that we will not leave any stone unturned to fulfill our commitment to the people of the country.”
At the meeting, Modi was hailed over the government’s decision to provide reservation to OBCs and EWS in the all-India quota for state medical and dental colleges.
The PM had flagged the Opposition’s disruption of the House at an earlier BJP parliamentary party meeting too, specifically attacking the Congress. He had said the Congress appeared to have forgotten that the floor of the House was for discussion, not slogan-raising, and had asked BJP MPs to “expose the attitude of the Congress and some other Opposition parties” before the people.
At Tuesday’s meeting, also attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP national president J P Nadda, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a presentation on the state of the economy. Despite the second wave of the pandemic, economic growth has been rapid and foreign reserves have increased to an all-time high of Rs 611 million crore, she said.
She also quoted the rise in GST collections, said an MP, apart from noting that support for MSMEs has been boosted from Rs. 3.5 lakh crore to Rs. 4.5 lakh crore, and that banking sector has overcome NPAs to make Rs 31,816 crore profit.
The minister said all crucial economic indicators were showing improvement and the government had released five mini-budgets to boost the economy.
Muraleedharan said the PM spoke also about e-Rupi and its benefits, and said that Tuesday onwards, a massive foodgrain distribution drive begins under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana. “Today, it will be done in Gujarat, on August 5, in Uttar Pradesh, and on August 7 in Madhya Pradesh. On August 9, the anniversary of the Quit India movement, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi will be given to farmers.”
Parliament has not been able to function this Monsoon Session, with Opposition parties, including the Congress, TMC, Left parties, BSP and Akali Dali, raising slogans and holding placards demanding a discussion on the Pegasus spyware issue and farm laws. The Opposition has now joined hands to demand a debate on Pegasus ahead of anything else, and has been giving notices for adjournment motions. The Treasury Benches maintain that Pegasus is a “non-issue” and “non-serious”.
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