Signalling that the upcoming Budget session of Parliament could be stormy, Congress today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not expect the opposition to “bend over backwards” when “so many charges are in public domain”.
Accusing the Prime Minister of “completely and absolutely failing to show statesmanship” in ensuring smooth conduct of Parliament, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said the government is trying to browbeat the opposition charging it with disrupting House proceedings.
“It is the responsibility of the government to run Parliament. It is their responsibility to reach out to opposition and try and establish a modus-vivendi conducive for smooth functioning of the House and the Prime Minister has completely and absolutely failed to show that statesmanship,” he said.
Tewari said, in this backdrop, for the Prime Minister to expect that the opposition will “bend over backwards, especially when there are so many charges in the public domain, I guess it is possibly expecting too much”.
The Congress statement came at a time when the opposition is on the offensive over the Gujarat land deal issue and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and sought a clarification from the Prime Minister. It is also sought a Supreme Court-monitored SIT probe into all land deals during Modi’s tenure as the Gujarat Chief Minister.
Several opposition parties have upped the ante against the Centre over the issue of imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh, suicide by dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad Central University and the Pathankot terror strike.
Tewari was asked about the Prime Minister’s attack on the Gandhi family and whether Congress would adopt the strategy followed by NDA when it was in opposition.
Expressing surprise over the Prime Minister’s statement on disruption in Parliament, he said Modi is possibly not taking into account how his party had behaved while it was in the opposition.
The Congress leader said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, when he was the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, had proclaimed that disruption of Parliament is a “legitimate parliamentary tactic”.
“So, therefore, I think it would be just appropriate that the opposition holds the government accountable to the same standard,” he said, adding there are “substantive issues which have been raised and there are no answers on them”.