The verbal jibes between Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government and Congress escalated further. Congress Rajya Sabha MP Ghulam Nabi Azad has made a startling allegation against the Modi government, claiming that Opposition speeches were “blocked out” on Rajya Sabha TV. Azad has also urged that “Rajya Sabha TV” should not be converted to “BJP TV”. Azad’s remarks came after Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien claimed that RSTV transmission was allegedly disrupted for the first few minutes during his speech. Azad had made another allegation that Rajya Sabha TV focused more on BJP President Amit Shah.
“The transmission of RSTV got interrupted from 13.14 hours to 13.18 hours due to power failure to main OFC Room at 12-A GRG office. It was found that there was electrical work going on at GRG office without any consent from technical department. The main OFC Room is being supplied by 40 KVA UPS and Output MCB was found tripped by electrician. The fault was restored by electrician after immediately informing by shift engineer about power failure,” a Rajya Sabha statement has said.
O’Brien has said, “The first 4 to 6 minutes of my speech were not shown on Rajya Sabha TV. I am a member of the Opposition. You protect us”. BJP leader Satyanarayan Jatiya, who was in the chair, said, “We will enquire about this and let you know what happened.” “I wish to first dwell on two of the points that he raised on Republic Day… ‘Institutions should be disciplined and morally upright and they are always more important than individuals in office’. I only wish this was also said in the Central Hall. That would have been a strong message at the right place… The second thing that he said in his Republic Day speech was, ‘Institutions are more important than individuals.’ I want to pass this message on from the Rashtrapati and all of us in this House to the people concerned here. These are the two important sentences,” said O’Brien.
Some opposition parties, led by the Congress, had boycotted the post-lunch session on Tuesday, alleging that their voice was being “muzzled” and that they were not allowed to raise issues due to long adjournments. They had also written a letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, expressing their anguish.