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Mallikarjun Kharge hits back at Jaitley for blaming Congress for Parliament washout

NEW DELHI(PTI): Hitting back at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who blamed Congress for the washout of Parliament session, leader of the opposition party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun ​Kharge on Thursday said people who don’t believe in Nehru’s philosophy have no right to talk about his legacy.

Mallikarjun Kharge

“People who don’t believe in Nehru’s philosophy have no right to take Nehru’s name and legacy,” Kharge told reporters here in response to a question on Jaitley’s Facebook post chiding Congress for disruptions and invoking Nehru’s legacy. He said that despite pleading several times, “they did not celebrate Nehru’s 125th birth anniversary properly and such people have no right to talk.”

Jaitley in his Facebook post today titled ‘Stray Thoughts After the Winter Session’ has castigated Congress strategy of disrupting Parliament session after session. Crediting Nehru for laying down healthy precedents in the initial years of Indian democracy, he said, “The current generation in control of Congress will find a place in history of having weakened what their ancestors established.” On Jaitley criticising the language used by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Kharge said, “BJP is indirectly responsible for the creation of Kejriwal… I can’t say much about it because he (Kejriwal) is their own product.”

Responding to BJP’s allegation about competition between Rahul Gandhi and Kejriwal to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kharge said the ruling party these days wants to drag Congress vice president’s name in every issue. “…probably these days Rahulji is even appearing in their dreams, this is the problem,” he said sarcastically. Not willing to react on reports that BJP’s Margdarshak Mandal is seeking inquiry against Jaitley on DDCA row following the suspension of party MP Kirti Azad, Kharge said it was an internal matter of their party. “But we also demand an inquiry into the issues that have been brought out by Kirti Azad,” he said.

In response to a question about parliamentarians seeking close to 100 per cent pay hike when Parliament did not function, he said, “I don’t know. I have not received any bill regarding it. As soon as it comes I will send my comments.” Responding to a question on Ram Mandir issue, he said such issues were raised whenever elections are approaching. Stating that Congress had always believed and followed adult franchise model, Kharge said some BJP ruled states like Haryana and Rajasthan were trying to restrict it by baring the illiterate from contesting panchayat polls and thereby trying to “snatch away” rights enjoyed by the poor.

He said there was no level playing ground for such restriction as India was not a hundred per cent literate country. The Supreme Court had recently upheld the validity of amendments in a Haryana law which fixes various criteria including minimum educational qualification for candidates contesting panchayat polls. Asked whether Congress will challenge this verdict, Kharge said, “…I will discuss this in the party. Definitely, I will take it up.”

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