Rajat Sharma


AKB30 Opposition MPs led by Congress again tried to disrupt Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply to the debate on Motion of Thanks in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. They shouted slogans and created a ruckus, but Modi continued with his speech, undeterred. Finally, the opposition MPs led by Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge staged a walkout, which was promptly condemned by the Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar. He said, it was the first time in India’s parliamentary history that the Leader of Opposition tried to stop the Leader of the House from speaking, and incited members to shout slogans. Prime Minister Modi said, the opposition lacked the courage to hear the truth. He reminded how the opposition tried its best to stop him from speaking in the Lok Sabha, and in the Upper House, they “ran away from the field”. On Wednesday, video footage surfaced of Rahul Gandhi “instigating” opposition MPs to go the well and stop the Prime Minister from speaking. Rahul Gandhi was seen egging on his party’s two MPs elected from Manipur to come to the well and shout slogans. Most of the Congress MPs initially stood near their seats and shouted slogans, and were reluctant to go to the well. Congress MP from Assam Gaurav Gogoi held the hands of his colleagues from Manipur and entered the well. The sequence of events in the footage is quite clear. It was at Rahul Gandhi’s instigation that his Gaurav Gogoi brought his party MPs to the well to shout slogans. Rahul Gandhi’s efforts did not end there. He gesticulated towards MPs from his allied parties and asked them to come to the well. Several female Congress MPs stood in the gallery, but was hesitant to go to the well. Finally, most of the MPs entered the well formed a wall in front of the Prime Minister, and carried on with their sloganeering. After doing this, Rahul Gandhi sat silently in his seat and watched the scene. Soon after, DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran stood up and started instigating other opposition MPs to shout slogans. The Speaker Om Birla chided the opposition, but it had no effect. The Speaker named Rahul Gandhi saying what he had done was shameful. I was surprised to note how Narendra Modi continued with his speech non-stop, and focussed on his arguments, with opposition MPs standing near him and shouting slogans in a hoarse voice. In the face of an organized pandemonium by the opposition, Modi did not lose his cool and replied to all allegations. This was indeed a difficult job. What was shown on Sansad TV on Tuesday was only the voice of opposition MPs shouting slogans, but the footage of the pandemonium was quite astonishing. It shows how parliamentary traditions were given a toss. The visuals clearly show the MPs were not doing this on their own. They were given directives to shout and enter the well. There can be two interpretations from this: One, either the opposition wants to show that it has numbers and strength, and it wants to do whatever it wants inside the House. Two, the other interpretation can be, such acts do not behove a parliamentary democracy. Opposition members were allowed full time to speak on the President’s address. To prevent the Prime Minister from speaking is an insult to parliamentary traditions. All the acts of these MPs were being seen live on camera by the entire nation. In a democracy, members have the right to ask questions and listen to replies in Parliament. They can level charges inside the House, but they must have the courage to listen to replies. The post of the Leader of Opposition in Parliament is a Constitutional position. It is a responsible position. Nobody, who believes in the values of liberty and democracy, will accept the leader of the opposition instigating his members to disrupt the proceedings. The people of India have given Narendra Modi the responsibility of Prime Minister, and he is carrying on with his responsibilities. The people have also made Rahul Gandhi the Leader of Opposition, but his behaviour was not in conformity with his position. In Rajya Sabha, Modi replied to almost all charges made by the opposition. The biggest charge was that the government was misusing ED and CBI against opposition leaders. Modi said, Congress is carrying on with its movement to “save bhrastacharis (corrupt leaders)”. He said, Congress had, in the beginning, itself levelled charges of corruption against Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, and when ED took action, the Congress has begun to shield AAP leaders. Modi challenged Congress to “seek explanations from AAP, if it has the courage”. Modi reminded how investigative agencies were being misused by earlier regimes, and it was his government which has given these agencies a free hand to take action against the corrupt. “This action against corruption will continue”, Modi said. On Manipur, Modi spoke in detail, and said, while violence is a matter of concern, Manipur has an old history of ethnic violence. He said, the government was trying to improve the situation, and more than 11,000 FIRs have been filed, more than 500 people have been arrested, and the results are now showing. There has been a decline in violence in Manipur, schools and colleges have reopened and he expected the situation to further improve soon. Modi, in Rajya Sabha, replied to all points relating to Jammu & Kashmir, reservation policy in Constitution, economy and foreign policy. One must understand: the opposition has the right to ask questions, criticize the government, but it would be better for the country, if it does so in a dignified manner. If the opposition thinks that it can browbeat Modi because his party BJP has now a lesser number of seats, then it is mistaken. If the opposition thinks that Modi can be cowed down by sloganeering and disruptions, they do not know the real Modi. Those who have closely watched Modi since 2002 as chief minister, have seen how he replied to all allegations, attacks and abuses. The more opposition attacks Modi, the stronger he emerges. Modi has shown his mettle in the last two days, both inside Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Get connected on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Comments are closed.