Cong, BJP continue to spar in Rajya Sabha on Goa issue

RSTV Bureau
FILE: New Delhi: Congress members protesting in Rajya Sabha. Photo - PTI

FILE: New Delhi: Congress members protesting in Rajya Sabha.
Photo – PTI

Congress and BJP continued to spar in Rajya Sabha over the issue of government formation in Goa by the latter. The upper house had witnessed a heated debate on the issue last week as well. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had even moved substantive motion notice against Goa governor Mridula Sinha demanding discussion.

Taking up the issue, Digvijay Singh sought an “urgent” hearing on the matter, but Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien told him that the notice is under consideration. “As and when Chairman decides on the admissibility, you will be intimated,” he said.

Accusing the BJP, Singh said “murder of democracy” has been committed in Goa. He also went on to accuse the Goa Governor to have acted in a partisan manner.

Reacting to Digvijaya’s remarks, treasury demanded that phrase “murder of democracy” used by the Congress leader should be expunged.

“The remark murder of democracy should be expunged. We need to respect the mandate and this house is not the forum to discuss in-house troubles of the Congress party,” Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Intervening, senior Left leader Tapan Sen contended there is nothing unparliamentary in the phrase “murder of democracy”, and therefore, it doesn’t need to be expunged. “Murder of democracy is not an unparliamentary phrase and it cannot be expunged,” Sen said.

Congress leader Anand Sharma and leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad also sought for urgent discussion. Azad demanded that discussion on the matter should be slated today itself at 2:00 PM.

But the Deputy Chairman told the Congress leaders that their notice is under consideration and they will be informed about the decision of chair soon.

From the treasury side, MoS Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Chairman will have to decide if such a motion is to be admitted and, if admitted, under what rule.

In the recently held assembly polls to Goa, Congress has emerged a single largest party scoring 17 seats in a 40-member house, while the BJP got 13 seats. But the latter moved swiftly to form the government with the support of two regional parties – MGP and Goa Forward – who got 3 seats each, and the independents.

The episode has blown up rebellion of sorts within the Congress, especially with Congress leader Vishwajeet Rane walking out in the trust vote last week, which was easily won by Manohar Parrikar government.

Digvijaya Singh, who is in-charge of the Goa affairs, has been facing flak within the party, with newly elected legislators blaming him for not acting fast enough.