Updated: December 20, 2014 4:07:37 am
With neither the opposition nor the government willing to budge from their positions on the conversion debate, Rajya Sabha failed to transact any business for the fifth consecutive day Friday. The government remained steadfast on its stand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not reply to the debate, though if required an anti-conversion law may be framed. The Opposition, however, stuck to its stand that no debate can happen him.
Making his first intervention this session, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad made a powerful pitch to the PM that his triumphs abroad have come because he represented the composite culture of India and having solicited votes in his own name, it is imperative now that he should reply in the House.
“It is not derogatory to ask for votes for oneself. All I am saying is it is pain he has inflicted, he will have to cure it. He had told the people of India that I am answerable, give me power. Today when it is the time to answer, somebody else cannot answer on his behalf… there is no shame in heeding to the request of an elected legislature. This is the PM’s home,” Azad said as the treasury benches protested Azad’s contention that Modi sought votes not for the party but himself.
“America is watching this debate very closely. We are happy that the Prime Minister is getting such rousing welcomes abroad but we must remember that it is happening because he represents the composite, multi-religious culture of India…It was after he said that he represents all religions that the countries that had not allowed him in for 12-13 years, welcomed him,” Azad said.
In reply, MoS Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi reiterated the government’s stand that the debate could happen, provided the opposition obliged. “We want a debate on conversion… It seems since you have come to the House after a long time … Your party colleagues did not brief you about what happened in your absence,” he said.
After this exchange, the House descended into chaos. The morning session was a washout two adjournments later.
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