The Congress on Monday told the government that the Opposition cannot be rendered a mere “spectator” in the Rajya Sabha and argued that cooperation for smooth functioning of the House is only possible if it is given a chance to raise issues of its choice.
Sources in the main Opposition party said that notices given by BJP members for short duration and calling attention discussions are being accepted while notices given by it are not taken up.
BJP president Amit Shah’s notice for a discussion on minimum support price has been accepted while Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad’s is yet to be accepted. Last week, BJP member V Muraleedharan’s notice for a calling attention motion on fake news was accepted and discussed. Azad had sought a short duration discussion on the “rising environment of intolerance, fear, distrust, orchestrated violence and lynching, posing a serious threat to peace, social stability and security of citizens”.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said the government is running away from debate and discussion on real issues. “The Opposition now realises that the government is neither sincere nor serious about discussing the burning issues before the country which the Opposition intends to raise. Therefore, the opposition will press collectively those issues,” he said.
“Parliament cannot be done only for government business and with the ruling party members and leaders bringing the calling attention, bringing short duration discussions also. It is an unprecedented situation. No parliament in the world has ever functioned by excluding issues of the principle opposition party. That has been practice and precedent of our Parliament too,” he added.
He said the Opposition wants to raise several issues but there has been no discussion on them so far. “Is the Opposition a spectator? Opposition will raise the issue in both Houses. Cooperation is only possible when there are detailed discussions in both Houses on important issues. The government cannot decide which issue to be discussed,” he said.