Updated: August 6, 2021 3:53:13 am
The war of words over disruption in Parliament proceedings intensified on Thursday, with Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge accusing Defence Minister Rajnath Singh of not resolving the stalemate as he had promised during a telephonic conversation. Singh responded that he had never given such assurances.
“Since Mallikarjun Kharge has mentioned me, I would like to make it clear that I had not made any such assurances (to him). Yes, I talked to him on the phone. I had appealed to him to end this deadlock,” Singh said.
Rising to discuss the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021, Kharge said in Rajya Sabha, “Many precedents are being broken and new precedents are being brought in (to Parliament). This Bill was not supposed to be brought today. But Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has brought it in the additional agenda because he and the government think they can use the hungama in the House to somehow pass these Bills…”
Kharge went on to talk about his telephone call with Singh and said the minister had assured him of a meeting to end the impasse in Parliament after his return from Tajikistan. “But it has been days since his return, and there has been no meeting called,” said Kharge.
“Instead the government is putting the Opposition on the dock… The ruling party has been saying that the Opposition does not want discussions. We do want discussions… If you have the courage, then you get the discussion done – we can discuss right now.”
The Indian Express had reported on Tuesday that sources in the Opposition said Singh had signalled to Kharge last week that he would call a meeting of all parties to break the impasse after his return from Tajikistan, but that more strident sections in the government may have intervened to prevent such an outreach, ensuring that such a meeting never took place.
The Opposition has been demanding discussions on the Pegasus snooping allegations, the farm Bills, and alleged rape and murder of a minor in Delhi.