Opposition walks out of Rajya Sabha midway PM Modi speech

Opposition walks out of Rajya Sabha midway PM Modi speech

New Delhi: The Parliament session ended on a fractious note Wednesday as midway into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on the motion of thanks to the President’s Address, the Opposition walked out of the Rajya Sabha after Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar turned down repeated requests to allow Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Upper House, to make an intervention.

The Opposition walking out on the concluding day capped the bitterness between the two sides that was on display from the first day of the session, with its proceedings impaired by frequent clashes between the ruling coalition and the Opposition, leading to a rare election to the post of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha which took place only thrice before, since independence. 

The Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die Tuesday.

On Wednesday, soon after the prime minister alleged in his speech that some in the Opposition had opposed the plan to mark 26 November every year as Constitution Day, Kharge requested Dhankhar to allow him to make an intervention. Other members of the Opposition also raised slogans in support of Kharge, but Dhankhar did not budge.

After protesting for a while, Kharge, along with the entire Opposition, walked out of the House. Even the MPs of the BJD, which had helped the BJP in its previous term get key legislations cleared in the Upper House, staged a walkout. Having been dislodged from power in Odisha by the BJP, the BJD had previously announced that it will play the role of an opposition in the 18th Lok Sabha.

Also read: ‘2024 mandate broke Modi’s arrogance’ — Kharge targets PM in Parliament, raises Manipur & NEET issues

How Kharge and other Opposition leaders reacted

Speaking to reporters outside the Old Parliament building, Kharge said that the INDIA Bloc parties walked out “because PM Modi was lying, and misleading people, which is his habit.”

He added, “I wanted to clarify that it is not us, but the BJP and RSS who are fiercely against the Constitution from day one of its inception.

“They had burnt the effigies of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru at Ramlila Maidan that time. The truth is that Babasaheb Ambedkar had given the credit of drafting the Constitution to the Congress party. I tried drawing his (Dhankhar) attention but he didn’t respond. We walked out because if our words have no value, then what do we do sitting there?”

The Congress president, flanked by Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Rajya Sabha MPs of various Opposition parties, pointed out that Modi was allowed to make two interventions when Rahul Gandhi, LoP in the Lok Sabha, was speaking.

“Four other ministers also intervened. I was interrupted when I was making my speech in the Rajya Sabha. But I was not given a minute to intervene (when the PM spoke on Wednesday),” Kharge said. 

Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev from the TMC told reporters that the Opposition cannot be expected to sit through such a speech without a single opportunity to intervene.

“The BJP has shown utter disregard for the constitutional post of the LoP and remains dictatorial towards the Opposition which sits in the house owing to its mandate and not at the mercy of the treasury benches,” she added. 

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh told reporters that not allowing Kharge to intervene despite repeated requests amounted to “strangling the Constitution”.

Speaking to reporters, Kharge quoted from an editorial published in RSS mouthpiece Organiser on 30 November, 1949, to make his point that the Sangh has always maintained that the Indian Constitution was not rooted in the country’s past. 

“In our constitution, there is no mention of the unique constitutional developments in ancient Bharat. Manu’s laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits (read Ambedkar) that means nothing,” Kharge quoted the Organiser editorial.

He also quoted from Ambedkar’s concluding remarks in the Constituent Assembly on his “surprise” over being elected the chairperson of the drafting committee. 

“There were in the drafting committee men bigger, better and more competent than myself…It is because of the discipline of the Congress party that the drafting committee was able to pilot the Constitution in the Assembly with the sure knowledge as to the fate of each article and each amendment. The Congress Party is, therefore, entitled to all the credit for the smooth sailing of the Draft Constitution in the Assembly,” Kharge said, quoting Ambedkar.

(Edited by Radifah Kabir)

Also read: ‘Rahul insulted Hindus, lowered dignity of LoP post’ — BJP lashes out after Congress MP’s LS speech


Source link



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Social Media

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.