Firm on their protest, Cong earns surprise support

SansadTV Bureau

New Delhi: Congress MPs protesting inside Lok Sabha a day after Delhi High Court in National Herald case.  Photo - PTI

Even Prime Minister’s concern couldn’t end the stalemate in Parliament as both the houses saw protest by the Congress party. Besides National Herald, another issue of BJP MP’s controversial remarks against Congress leaders added to the din in the lower house. However, feature of the day was Congress party getting a surprise support from Trinamool Congress inside Lok Sabha and its latest ally Nitish Kumar outside the Parliament.

The day began with PM Modi expressing fears that Parliament logjam is leading to the blockage of lot of “pro-poor” legislation, apart from the much vaunted Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill.

Very soon, Congress MPs were seen marching in the Well of the both houses as it reassembled for the day. While, in Rajya Sabha they accused the government of resorting to “politics of vendetta”, in Lok Sabha, the principal Opposition party moved adjournment motion against BJP MP Virendra Singh.

The MP from Bhadoi in Uttar Pradesh, raked a major controversy with his certain remarks against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Madhya Pradesh MP Jyotiraditya Scindhia on Wednesday. Though the Speaker had expunged the remarks from records, the Congress party was unrelenting and demanding his apology.

Mukhtar-Abbas-Naqvi-rajya-Sabha“We saw shocking behaviour when ruling party members, including ministers, were encouraging him,” said Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

Kharge’s charges elicited reaction from the treasury with Union Parliamentary Affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu accusing the Congress MPs of repeated obstruction and at one point even “hurling papers” at Deputy Speaker Thambidurai Wednesday.

As the exchange between the two persisted further, senior MP from Trinamool Congress (TMC) stepped in. But the two — Congress and TMC members – staged a walkout to boycott the House for the day after failing to extract an apology from Virendra Singh.

The Congress party also stood firm in their protest on the floor of the Upper House over National Herald issue, where Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, party vice president Rahul Gandhi and other 4 office bearers are facing court proceedings.

The House saw repeated protest before getting adjourned for the day at 3:00 PM.

Nitish-Kumar-Parliament“Ministers are sitting in the House to answer questions of members. If some members are not seeking to ask questions, why other members are being prevented from doing so,” Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, adding “Some people cannot hold the House to ransom”.

Meanwhile, the Congress party got a backing for their protest with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar strongly opining that there should not be any vendetta in politics and opposition should not be harassed.

“There should not be any vendetta in politics. In democratic system, mandate is given to work for the public. Public mandate is not to harass opposition,” Nitish Kumar told the press outside Parliament House later in the day.

When sought his views on the accusation of the Congress that the government is misusing the Enforcement Directorate for political vendetta, he added, “When Congress is saying something, then it must be well thought-out. I have no details. But when Congress is saying so it must have some meaning, otherwise why the party will say so?”

(With inputs from the PTI)