PM Narendra Modi in his traditional remarks has said that the opposition must ask tough questions but must also allow the government to respond to them in parliament.
The monsoon session of Parliament began on a stormy note today as the Opposition, armed with slogans and placards, created ruckus inside both the houses, disrupting PM Narendra Modi’s speech introducing his new cabinet. PM Modi had to stop in the middle as he asked the Opposition benches to treat the new Council of Ministers as introduced.
Due to repeated protests by the Opposition members over various issues including inflation, fuel price, farm laws and the Pegasus snooping row, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned multiple times on day one of its sitting.
“Some people are pained at seeing that children of farmers have become ministers today. Some people are pained at seeing women as ministers and aren’t ready to allow their introduction as ministers,” said PM Modi.
He alleged that some people have hatred towards adivasis, dalits. “What sort of hatred do some people have for adivasis/dalits that they cannot allow the introduction of ministers from such communities in this House?” said the PM in Rajya Sabha.
In Lok Sabha, PM Modi said that the Opposition should have encouraged and congratulated the new ministers. “I thought that there would be enthusiasm in the Parliament as so many women, Dalits, tribals have become Ministers. This time our colleagues from agricultural & rural backgrounds, OBC community, have been given berth in Council of Ministers…Perhaps some people are not happy if country’s women, OBCs, farmers’ sons become Ministers. That is why they don’t even allow their introduction,” said the PM amid uproar by the Opposition MPs in the lower house.
Reacting to the disruption, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed the move by the Congress as ‘extremely sad and unfortunate’. “The biggest strength of Parliament is its healthy traditions. Maintaining it is the responsibility of the government and the opposition. It has been a parliamentary tradition for the Prime Minister to introduce all the ministers after every cabinet expansion…For the first time in my 24 years of parliamentary life, I have seen that this tradition has been broken. Whatever the Congress party has done today is sad and unfortunate as well as their unhealthy approach towards democratic traditions,” said Singh.
अपने २४ वर्षों के संसदीय जीवन में पहली बार मैंने देखा है कि इस परम्परा को तोड़ा गया है। जो कुछ भी कांग्रेस पार्टी ने आज किया है, वह दुखद और दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण होने के साथ-साथ लोकतांत्रिक परंपराओं के प्रति उनका unhealthy approach है।
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 19, 2021
Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, Piyush Goyal, also slammed the opposition for the chaos. “The inappropriate behaviour of the opposition in both the Houses of Parliament on the first day of the Monsoon session was unfortunate. For the first time such a large number of representatives of women, SC/ST, backward classes and North East have joined the cabinet. It is condemnable for the opposition to not allow their introduction,” said Goyal.
However, many social media users were quick to remind the ruling party leaders that the BJP had did the same to Manmohan Singh in 2004. After facing a surprise defeat in the 2004 General Elections, the BJP had allowed then UPA PM Manmohan Singh to either introduce his council of ministers or reply to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President. The same also happened in 2013 as well.
Just before the commencement of Parliament, PM Modi in his traditional remarks said that the opposition must ask tough questions but must also allow the government to respond to them in parliament.