NEW DELHI: The government seems to be in no mood to give in to the Opposition’s demand in the Rajya Sabha.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the Rajya Sabha on Thursday during question hour, but is unlikely to make a statement on the issue of conversion as per the Opposition demand.
Sources said the government ‘listened’ to the Opposition last time, when the PM made a statement on junior minister Niranjan Bharati’s offensive remarks. But even after PM’s statement, the Opposition kept the heat on the government and the disruption continued.
“The PM with his popular and strong image cannot be asked every time to give statements in the House,” a minister said. This sentiment appears to stem from what Modi told his ministerial colleagues during a meeting before Parliament.
“When we have not done anything wrong, why should we (government) worry,” sources quoting the PM said.
He is learnt to have asked the ministers and MPs to collect facts and present before the people so that the “disinformation” campaign launched by the Opposition can be countered.
Government sources said there was also a view that the Opposition be allowed to exhaust themselves with their protests rather than give in to their demands. The government may prepare to introduce Bills in the Rajya Sabha even in din.
Meanwhile, the BJP-led government fielded three senior ministers to present its side as they addressed media persons in Parliament. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu produced documents to say that the Congress was trying to mislead the House. He said the UPA II was the first one to say that Sanksrit be made compulsory upto class X, and even a circular was sent to central universities that Sanskrit departments be opened.
Similarly, the non-veg food was stopped in IITs during the UPA regime. Moreover the then HRD Minister Palam Raju hosted puja before taking charge after being advised by astrologer.
Naidu even produced a 1944 letter written by former PM Jawaharlal Nehru, when he was lodged in jail that his sister should record timing of daughter Indira Gandhi’s new born (Rajiv) and get a horoscope made.
The minister gave out this information to counter Opposition charges against BJP ministers that they were the only ones astrologicaly inclined.
The minister also produced a 1987 circular where principals of Navodaya Vidalayas were told that students should not be allowed to visit home during holidays barring vacation period.