Reacting sharply, Congress leader Anand Sharma said, “the unwarranted, uncharitable and provocative statement by the Finance Minister and BJP, accussing Congress of disruption makes it abundantly clear that the government is neither serious nor honest in breaking the deadlock in Parliament”.
He said that “issues should be raised, discussed and people whohave elected us are there to decide”.
Ever since the beginning of this session, Congress-led opposition has been demanding for the resignation of Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for helping the former IPL chief Lalit Modi. He termed the recent anti-harassment bill passed by MP assembly as “unusual”. They said the government could convert some bills into money bills that do not require the assent of the Upper House.
Besides, she said that for too long, this government has used its numerical strength as a “source of arrogance” rather than responsibility.
The sharp attacks from both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress party were witnessed on the eve of the all-party meet called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu in an effort to end the parliamentary stalemate during the ongoing Monsoon Session.
Sharma’s remarks are significant as government had planned an all party meeting earlier in the day but it was postponed after the Congress had reportedly expressed inability to attend it due to preoccupation with other meetings. The party has been gunning for Mr Chouhan on the issue of the alleged Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, a massive racket involving the rigging of recruitment to government jobs and admissions to professional education courses.
She also said that the Parliamentary majority does not give anyone a license to escape accountability. “Obviously, in major discussions the prime minister has been intervening and, if necessary, he will intervene”.
Taking a dig at the Opposition, Naidu said Congress may claim “victory” over the washout and feel “happy, very very happy” about it but it had to consider if it was not “harming” the country’s development.
“They can throw us all out of Parliament, but we will not be deterred”, Rahul told reporters after protesting against the move near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
Her party’s Ghulam Nabi Azad said after the all-party meeting, “Outcome is nil. The Congress is afraid of this… they don’t want success of the government in parliament“, Sitharaman said.
Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned after Sushma began her first statement on the Lalit Modi controversy, denying that she requested the British government to issue a travel document for his wife to travel to Portugal for medical reasons.