Opposition following obstruction as its policy: Rathore

Neelu Vyas


MoS Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore has blamed the opposition for disrupting Parliament in the just concluded Winter session. Coming down heavily on the Congress party, Rathore said that the party was exposed for raking up flimsy issues throughout the session. Defending his senior and Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley on DDCA controversy he claimed that there was no question of Jailtley resigning as there was no Supreme Court inquiry, whereas during the UPA tenure the resignations demanded by BJP had a legal sanctity. Defending the CBI raids at Delhi Secretariat, the MoS Information and Broadcasting said CBI was an autonomous body which worked without government’s interference and the timing of the raids on Kejriwal’s office were not dictated by the centre.

Speaking to Rajya Sabha TV, Rajyavardhan Rathore further criticised Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, terming his politics as devoid of ideas. Here are a few excerpts of the interview…

Q) Why was the government not able to manage the Opposition as the responsibility to run the house falls on the shoulders of the treasury benches?

A) The Opposition seems to be following obstruction as its policy. The Prime Minister, Finance Minister and even the Parliamentary Affairs minister has reached out to the Opposition parties.

Q) When BJP was in Opposition you all demanded the resignations of ministers. Do you think that the opposition is justified in demanding Arun Jaitley’s resignation on the DDCA controversy?

A) BJP demanded resignation of leaders on the basis of Supreme Court’s enquiry. Even Gen (retd.) VK Singh was taken to the court and later relieved. But now, the opposition is staging protest and a walked out on flimsy issues. Manufactured intolerance debate vanished in thin air after elections.

Q) Opposition leaders say that the attitude of the government was very arrogant and they did not try to reach out to them?

A) Congress party and its leadership has been exposed. We know that senior opposition leaders individually don’t agree to blockage created in Parliament.

Q) Critics of the party say that the timing of the CBI raids on Delhi CM Kejriwal’s office was not right as the Parliament was in session?

A) Mr. Kejriwal’s politics is without any agenda. The central government doesn’t ‘time’ CBI’s raids. At times, critics even say it’s a caged parrot’. CBI raided one of the bureaucrats in Rajasthan, where BJP is in power.

Q) Is all well between the Information and Broadcasting ministry and the Censor board?

A) We don’t run any autonomous institutions on day to day basis.

Q) Why is the CBFC so much under the scanner?

A) CBFC is under the scanner because producers, directors need certain certification. There were complaints that CBFC is perhaps dominated by the chairman. I don’t involve with individual fights of board members’.

Q) There are lot of question marks on the way cuts have been imposed on various films?

A) There is a fallacy amongst people that cuts imposed because of the BJP Government. We do not interfere in the working of the CBFC. It is not the government’s job to sit for censorships of movies. Interaction of producers, directors with the board for ‘certification request’ needs to stop.

Q) What are the achievements of the I&B ministry in the last one year?

A) The role of Information & Broadcasting Ministry’s is to take government’s policies & message to every citizen of the country. Radio is one of the biggest platforms for dissemination of information. We will improve the quality of content on Doordarshan. Idea is to work towards a mission set by Prime Minister Modi.

(The interview will be telecast today at 10.30 pm on Rajya Sabha TV)