Opposition parties, in particular the Congress party, took on BJP-led NDA government over Prime Minister’s statement in Canada accusing the previous governments of scams and corruption. Earlier this month while on a 3-nation visit, addressing the gathering of Indian diaspora in Toronto, PM Modi had said “Jinko gandagi karni thi, woh kar ke chaley gaye. Lekin hum safai karenge (Those who had to create the mess, they had done and left. There is a lot of mess. We will clear it up and go)”.
Demanding clarification from the government and the Prime Minister, Congress party’s Anand Sharma said “PM has dented the image of the country and also compromised the dignity of his own position.”
“The PM was visiting as the Prime Minister of the country and not the leader of the BJP,” added Congress party’s Deputy Leader in the upper house. Sharma also raised the firm objections on Prime Minister’s reference of “earlier India used to beg defence deals” in Germany.
Sharma’s mention was followed by a strong protest from both the sides as the government objected to opposition parties raising the issue.
“We are talking about Prime Minister’s speech. The rules do not permit this. Under what rule are you discussing this?” Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu sought to know from the opposition parties.
But the opposition was unrelenting. JD(U) senior leader Sharad Yadav too trained his objections at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks.
“Never in the last 68 years we have raised issue of domestic politics abroad. We have always been united abroad. This has to be discussed”, said Yadav.
Seconding Anand Sharma’s contention, BSP supremo Ms. Mayawati too said “It is the responsibility of the PM to not to say anything abroad which dents nation’s image. The incumbent PM should learn from former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee”.
The issue has generated confrontation between the government and the opposition even before the house resumed for the second leg to Budget session. Earlier, the Congress party had charged that PM Modi painted a picture which suggested that the country was known only for corruption and scams before he came to office.
Refuting with the opposition charges, Leader of the Upper house and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said “The fact is that many scams have taken place over the last 60 years and it should be taken up”.
“If they want discussion over PM’s remarks, the opposition should also be ready for the discussion over scams which took place in the last 60 years”, added Arun Jaitley.
Defending the Prime Minister, Jaitley concluded his intervention saying “there is no gag order, the PM of India is well within his right to say what all happened in the last 60 years and he wants to correct it.”
However, the intervention failed to pacify the opposition and the house was continuously adjourned.