Blaming NDA government for stalling Parliament, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad today equated Prime Minister Narendra Modi with ‘Dhritarashtra’ saying there was his “silent support” on contentious issues like conversions that disrupted the two Houses.
Rejecting the government charges that Opposition did not let Parliament function properly, Azad, who is the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said the MPs were demanding for days and weeks together for the Prime Minister to come and make a statement.
He said when there is some confusion and if some sections of the society be it Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Sikh feel insecure, it is the Prime Minister’s responsibility to keep the country united and protect the religious rights and aspirations of the people.
“This is a very small thing. He should do it 10 times a day during Parliament. You are the head of the family.
“If the children are fighting and family head becomes ‘Dhritarashtra’ (a blindfold mythological character from Mahabharata). He became just like Dhristrashtra and let everything happened. That means there is some silent support,” Azad said during a news conference at Indian Women’s Press Corps here.
He said Congress is the oldest political party and understands its responsibilities. “But as far as Parliament is concerned, whatever happened (impasse in the House), I squarely hold government responsible for it,” the Congress leader said.
Azad accused Modi of maintaining silence over the conversion row when Parliament was in session.
“This conversion issue started in a big way. As I sit in the House, I know this conversion issue is not confined to this country. A country like the US had to issue a statement saying they have been watching the issue keenly,” he said.
“So that means it has attracted attention. The conversion issue has attracted attention of the entire globe. It may look like a very small issue but it is not a small issue,” Azad said.
It is the responsibility of the Prime Minister, ministers and the government to instill confidence in various sections of the society including minorities, he said.
“We thought that since BJP has come into power, they will be more responsible. But unfortunately that has not happened. This is what we had been asking from Prime Minister which he as a Prime Minister should suo motu have done,” said Azad.
He alleged the Prime Minister was sitting in Parliament and in his room when the session was on but chose not to respond to Opposition’s concerns.
Azad termed as “undemocratic” the government’s proposed move to call for a joint session of Parliament to get key bills passed.
“I was reading in the paper about a statement by a leader of the House that in future we will call a joint session of Parliament to get the bills passed. That thinking is very undemocratic.
“This means that the government is not ready to give in to the genuine demands of the Opposition. This very thinking that just to get rid of Rajya Sabha they will choose the route of joint session is undemocratic,” he said.
He advised government not to sit on prestige on various issues.
“The two Houses have nothing to do with the prestige. These two Houses are meant for checks and balances to be done. The very job of the Opposition is to oppose and dispose, to support the government on issues which are for the larger interest of the country at the same time oppose wherever and whenever opposition finds fault with the government,” Azad said.