All-party meet on Monday to discuss ways to end Parl deadlock
New Delhi- Government will call an all-party meeting on Monday in a bid to break the Parliament logjam as it accused Congress of “hurting” the country by blocking the passage of key reform bills like GST with its relentless protests.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu insisted that the washout for the second consecutive week of the monsoon session was not due to government’s fault and that it was unwilling to concede to Congress’s demand that Union minister Sushma Swaraj and two BJP chief ministers resign over their alleged role in scams.
He claimed that in the 14 months of the BJP government, there has been no scam, scandal or political vendetta.
“Congress wants a satisfactory proposal. You are in opposition and you will be satisfied only when you are in power. We cannot help it. It may take 10, 20, 25 years,” he told reporters and insisted it was the Opposition, mainly the Congress and Left, which was responsible for the washout of
proceedings in both the Houses.
Rejecting the opposition’s charge the government had not reached out to them, Naidu said he had called a meeting of various parties today morning as well but Congress backed out at the last moment and added that he was looking to call a meeting on Monday.
“We have contacted several parties and are reaching others,” he said. He, though, noted that some parties have said that their members may get late to return to Delhi from their respective constituencies.
Congress has already asserted that it would not attend such a meeting until the government comes with a tangible proposal.
Taking a dig at the Opposition, Naidu said Congress may claim “victory” over the washout and feel “happy, very very happy” about it but it had to consider if it was not “harming” the country’s development.
“Congress party can claim victory over the washout. Nation has lost out badly. It should introspect if it wants to participate in the nation’s development… Congress is ending up hurting itself politically and hurting the country’s development,” he said. Citing a Moody’s report which said lack of reforms may hurt India’s growth, Naidu said passage of important legislations like GST, land, and real estate bills were “very crucial to give much desired momentum to economic growth”.
“All responsible stake-holders should take these warnings very seriously. Reforms are very necessary,” he said, urging Congress to reconsider its stand and allow normal functioning of Parliament.
Noting that land and GST bills were sent to parliamentary committees due to the Opposition’s demands, he said the government has “walked the extra mile” to meet their demands, especially those of Congress and recalled that it had given assurance that it would help the passage of GST bill in the monsoon session.
He, however, insisted that the government was confident that the GST bill would be passed in this session.
Attacking Congress for referring to Parliament’s disruptions by BJP when it was in Opposition, he said the opposition should not rake up history or it will suffer harm.
“What happened in 1992 after Ayodhya (Babri mosque demolition)? What happened in 2002 after Gujarat (riots)?”
BJP stalled Parliament only after incontrovertible evidence had emerged in cases like 2G scams, Naidu claimed.
Asked about certain voices that “no work no pay” policy should be applied on lawmakers, he quipped “such voices should increase”.
He also took a swipe at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s interaction with students at FTII where he attacked the government over Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment as chairman, saying he was not keen on discussing the issue in Parliament.