With Congress continuing to gun for Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje for helping controversial former IPL boss Lalit Modi, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi took to cricket parlance to hit back, saying the opposition party is on a “slippery pitch” and should eschew “hit and run” tactics.
Naqvi, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, said a “confused Congress” was making new allegations every hour, making it difficult for the government and people to understand what it really wants.
“The Congress party, when it was in power, used to get hit wicket every day. Now in opposition, it is bowling no balls. They should understand that when the pitch is slippery, it is better to wait and watch then play. They need some net practice to play the role of a constructive and effective opposition,” Naqvi told.
He was asked to comment on External Affairs Minister Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Raje extending help to Lalit Modi in securing travel documents in the UK.
Extending his cricket analogy, Naqvi said the Congress will understand the role of a constructive opposition after 4-6 years of net practice.
“One day the party will bring a paper saying it is a document related to a palace and on another some other paper saying it is (Lalit) Modi’s and then another. They should decide that what it is on which that they want to speak against the government,” he said.
“Are they making an allegation or is it ‘chunchu ka murabba (hotch-potch)’, it is not clear,” Naqvi said.
“Hit, run and then take up another issue. When the opposition is itself confused, then how do we reply?” he added.
When the BJP was in opposition, Naqvi said, it raised 2G spectrum issue, irregularities in coal block allocations and Commonwealth Games which were based on CAG reports or had arisen from court orders.
The Minister, however, hoped the government would be able to enlist the support of opposition in the Parliament for passage of key legislations, including the contentious land bill.
Claiming that BJP never let politics over shadow developmental activities, Naqvi said the party had assured that even if it is at midnight, the Lokpal Bill should be passed. The Congress had at that time played a dubious role, he claimed.
Naqvi said his party is willing to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill but Congress’ allies themselves tore the copies of the legislation and it could not stop them.
Naqvi described as “arrogance” the Congress’s threat of disrupting Parliament if Swaraj and Raje did not resign, saying the government is ready to discuss issues.
Asked if the government is ready to hold a discussion on the controversy over Swaraj and Raje’s links with Lalit Modi, Naqvi said, “There are rules and systems in Parliament under which issues can be discussed. Not everything that is discussed on the street can be discussed in Parliament.”
About reports that the land bill may not be brought before Parliament ahead of the Bihar elections, Naqvi said the matter is with a joint parliamentary committee and its report is awaited.
On the alliance between Lalu Prasad’s RJD and JD(U) for Bihar Assembly polls, he said they had united on the “negative agenda” of stopping BJP’s forward march under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and so would be at a disadvantage.
Responding to a question on the leadership or Rahul Gandhi, he said Congress vice president’s speeches and dialogue had failed to impress even his own party men. Naqvi said Congress is unable to think beyond the dynasty.