NEW DELHI: Accusing the government of refusing to have a discussion in Rajya Sabha over the Israeli attacks in the Gaza strip, CPI(M) today said the BJP was "bending over backwards" to please Israel and the US by filibustering a debate on the issue.
"The only reason for the government to adopt such an attitude is that the BJP does not want to displease Israel and the US due to its political affinity with them. It is rather bending over backwards to please them," senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told a press conference here.
Noting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had signed a resolution at the BRICS Summit condemning the attacks, he said "we see no reason why the government is stopping the debate.
"We think the government is filibustering a debate on the Israeli aggression and bombardment of the Gaza strip. The UN has also condemned it and soon the European Union is likely to do so."
He said the issue was listed on the agenda of the Upper House yesterday but after agreeing for a debate, "The government is now having second thoughts and trying to back out of a discussion."
Referring to the government's argument that a debate on Israeli attacks would affect relations with friendly nations, Yechury said this was "completely untenable" as India had friendly relations with Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh but "we repeatedly raise issues" relating to these countries.
"Even the Prime Minister himself has raised the issue of illegal migration from Bangladesh," he said.
The CPI(M) leader said there was no rule in Parliament which would allow the government to withdraw an item from the agenda as the entire business of the House was decided only after the government agreed to it.
"No initiative has been taken by the government to find a way out but it is only trying to bulldoze their way through," he said, adding such an attitude would "not only undermine the independence of the Legislature but the Constitution itself."
Asked about the impact of Israeli violence on India, he said there were fears that the conflict would soon extend to the West Asia where "lakhs of Indians work and earn a living".
While oil prices would shoot up further due to the conflict "affecting all budget calculations", an estimated USD 60 billion worth of annual remittances from abroad would be hit and that would have a "crippling effect" on the Indian economy, Yechury said.