Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today lashed out at the Opposition for not allowing a debate on demonetisation. On their part, the Opposition parties blame the government for the continuing logjam in both Houses of the Parliament. The Opposition parties have been demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be present in the Parliament during the entire debate. Though the PM has been present in the Parliament on many occasions, he has not spent his entire time in the Parliamentary deliberations because of other engagements including political rallies in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
Meanwhile, the government has repeatedly maintained that it is ready for the debate but the Opposition does not want it. On Wednesday, the Congress demanded government’s response to the death of at least 84 people due to “unplanned” demonetisation. Other parties like the BSP and the SP demanded PM Modi’s apology for putting the common man in pain.
In response, Jaitley tore into the Opposition’s strategy in Parliament. He made three allegations that didn’t go well with the Opposition leaders. The result was usual as both Houses were disrupted, though the Lok Sabha managed to carry out some business amid the din. PM Modi was also present in the Lok Sabha today.
Here are Jaitley’s three allegations against the Opposition:
Opposition disrupting Parliament for TRP
Jaitley claimed that the Opposition parties are not willing to participate in any debate. They are instead using the Zero Hour for “getting footage on TV rather than listening to substantive facts on the issue… If the Opposition has the guts, the debate should resume.” Soon after Jaitley’s remark, the BJP members raised the slogan “himmat hai to charcha karo (Discuss the issue if you have guts).
No precedent that says PM must listen to each and every member
Thrashing Opposition demand for PM Modi’s presence throughout the debate, Jaitley said, “Halfway through the debate you (opposition parties) disrupt it. Then you raise conditions that have never been raised in history. The Prime Minister cannot listen to each and every member of the House as he has many other big responsibilities.” Since 1952, Jaitley said, there is no precedent that the Prime Minister must listen to each member.
Opposition using tactics of disruption
The Finance Minister alleged that the Opposition parties are using disruptive tactics to stall discussion on demonetisation. Jaitley said the government has always been ready for debate. “The Opposition wanted the PM to be present in the house so PM has been regularly present. But it seems the Opposition just wants to disrupt proceedings for one reason or the other.”
(Inputs from PTI/ANI)