NEW DELHI: Calling External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj an "asset", Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said the government was "willing to walk the extra mile" to accommodate the opposition but could not accept its "unreasonable demands".
Launching a scathing attack at Congress, Naidu said that the opposition party is "really rattled" by the successes of the Narendra Modi led government and was therefore blocking the proceedings of Parliament to stop the progress of the country. Dismissing Congress's demand for resignations of Swaraj and Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Chief Ministers Vasundhara Raja and Shivraj Singh Chauhan over Lalit Modi and Vyapam related issues, Naidu said that while Swaraj is an "asset", the others are outstanding performers.
"Sushma Swaraj is a great asset to the nation. There is a no allegation at all. Still they want her to resign," he said. Congress was putting forth a "ridiculous" argument that during their regime six ministers had been forced to resign, so they would not give up, he said, adding that UPA ministers had corruption charges against them and even some arrests had been made. He also noted that Swaraj was willing to answer all questions but Congress did not want a discussion.
Defending Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's move to suspend opposition party members from the House for causing disruptions, Naidu said that when Congress was in power such steps had been taken several times including in years like 1989, when 63 MPs were suspended and also in 2013. Countering criticism that the "Gujarat model" was being imposed in Parliament, Naidu asked, "Was there any Gujarat model in 1989?"
"They should not give any sermons. It is a case of 'sau chuhe khake billi haj ko chali (after committing many sins, they are pretending to be holy)'," he said. Naidu further said that some leaders were saying that an emergency like situation was being imposed and in a way were criticising the emergency which had been ushered in by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and several leaders jailed. "Do they accept that also?" he asked.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister said that people are "restive and distressed" as they want laws made and important issues like flood situation, farmers suicides, abductions in Libya etc discussed and protesting outside Parliament would not serve any purpose.
Naidu who was speaking at an event organised by the BJP youth wing Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), said there is a need to counter the "disinformation campaign" of the Congress.