NEW DELHI: Having cornered the government on Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s controversial remark to the extent of forcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make a statement in the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition seemed in no mood to give up the issue.
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The government too on its part decided not to relent any more. It rejected the Opposition’s fresh demand of a parliamentary resolution criticising the minister’s derogatory comments made during an election rally in Delhi. This was after her resignation demand was not heeded.
What riled the government most, sources said, “is the manner in which the Congress, along with a few Opposition parties, is using its numerical strength in the Rajya Sabha to stall the House. They cannot be dictating the agenda.”
But the Congress and the Opposition, including Left, TMC, JD(U), SP, RJD and DMK, retaliated saying that the same was being done in the Lok Sabha. “The Prime Minister, because of the strength of his party, is ignoring the Lower House,”said Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
At a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of the Rajya Sabha, sources said, the government, which rejected a proposal from the Opposition to allow passage of a resolution condemning Jyoti’s remarks, decided to pass Bill amidst the din.
Sources also added that senior ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi have decided they would not agree with any “unjust” demand of the Opposition and go ahead with the passage of business even amidst the din.
“As far as the resignation demand is concerned, she will not resign,” said Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, adding that the Congress is destroying parliamentary decorum by continuing to disturb the proceedings even after Modi had given a statement in the Rajya Sabha.
But an equally incensed Kharge said that the Opposition would boycot the House as the PM was ignoring it. “We have been asking for a statement from the Prime Minister for the past two-three days, but he is not giving any statement. They (government) think they have brute majority in the House and whatever they do will be fine. This is not good for democracy,” Kharge said.
He added that if the government would act under the influence of “brute majority” and do whatever it wants, then that will be unacceptable. “We all have decided to boycott and not participate in the proceedings of the House today,” he said.
The Congress decision to not relent on the issue came after Kharge and Anand Sharma had a meeting with the party chief Sonia Gandhi.