With the winter session of Parliament staring a washout, the government and the opposition on Friday accused each other of being responsible for it. The proceedings in the both the houses were adjourned today due protest on the issue of demonetisation.
Attacking the Centre, senior Congress leader Ambika Soni said everyone wants Parliament to function, but it is the government’s responsibility to ensure its smooth functioning.
“Who does not want Parliament to function?… But it is the prerogative of the government to run it. The Prime Minister should come, sit in the House and listen to the proceedings. Is it not a duty of the Prime Minister to hear what the opposition MPs have to say?” Soni asked.
Other opposition leaders too sought PM Modi’s presence in the house. BSP leader Mayawati, while demanding that Prime Minister should come to the House for discussion, asked for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into demonetisation alleging “irregularities”.
CPI(M) leader Md. Salim too blamed the government, saying that the MPs have been coming to Parliament as they want a discussion.
Refuting the opposition charges, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the ruling party has been ready for a debate from the start of the session itself.
“We have been requesting, persuading opposition parties for it,” he said, adding that the opposition parties should apologise to the people for not allowing Parliament to function for 16 days.
MoS Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also questioned the opposition parties. “What has been happening since November 16 till now, what is it, if not disturbance?” he asked. He said the government has been ready for a debate.
Outside Parliament too, the government took on the Opposition with Union minister Venkaiah Naidu accusing the Congress party of alleged scams during UPA tenure, as well as criticised its protest in the Parliament on the issue of not ban.
“Is it foolish to take action against black money and corruption which was encouraged by Congress and its friends all these years in power?” Naidu asked reacting to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s remarks where he had termed demonetisation “foolish”.
“So, keeping silent or helping those (guilty) people, and not taking action was a wise thing?” Naidu said, adding, “You have 2G, 3G…Augusta, CWG and coal scams…and all of these happened under whose regime?”
The senior cabinet minister also urged the opposition, especially Congress, the Left and the Trinamool Congress, to “introspect” and allow the functioning of Parliament for the remaining period of the Winter Session, as there were important bills to be passed which would benefit the poor.
“Making noise outside (Parliament) without raising your voice inside – what is this? You are committing contempt against the people and democracy of the country,” he charged.
(With inputs from the PTI)