New Delhi(PTI): Hitting back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his attack on Congress over the disruption of Parliament sessions, the party on Thursday accused him of having a “confrontational mindset” as it sought to put the ball in the government’s court for ensuring the smooth functioning of the Houses.
“Dismissiveness and disregard for people’s issues has become a hallmark of Modiji’s government. He should understand that autocracy is not the way forward, assimilation of ideas is. Modiji only speaks, he has no faith in listening to or understanding others. “Prime Minister is an expert in one-way communication. He is a specialist in blaming others for his own failures,” AICC Communication Department Chief Randeep Surjewala told reporters here.
Speaking separately, another Congress spokesperson, Anand Sharma, said, “Had the PM given up his confrontationist (sic) mindset, then there would have been better atmosphere inside and outside Parliament. Government’s arrogance did not let Parliament function.” The remarks by the Congress leaders came after Modi launched a blistering attack on Congress over disruptions of Parliament sessions, saying that having “enjoyed power” for over six decades, the main opposition has no right to destroy its functioning for “political reasons” and hold back the country’s development.
Reacting sharply to his comments, Congress revived its demand for the resignation of three BJP Chief Ministers and two senior Ministers of Modi Cabinet — Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj.
“Congress urges him to take action against corrupt ministers and BJP leaders like Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Rajasthan’s Vasundhara Raje, Chhattisgarh’s Raman Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
“And, by all means, let Parliament function,” Surejwala said. He called for the government to reduce the additional tax burden on citizens while saying that the GST Bill should be passed. “The PM should introspect as to why Parliament was not functioning. He has discarded time-honoured traditions of dialogue and has a contempt for democratic institutions.
“The PM is an expert at blaming others for any issue that comes up before him. He should not create a false smokescreen by blaming the Congress for the Parliament logjam,” Surjewala said. Surjewala asserted that the responsibility for running Parliament lies with the government while it is the opposition’s job to champion people’s issues.
“If Modi feels that the opposition has no right to speak, then he should explain to the country the BJP’s disruption of Parliament from 2004 to 2014,” Surjewala said. The contention was backed by Sharma, who insisted that while “in opposition, BJP opposed GST, Mr Modi spearheaded the charge”.
“We’re the authors of GST,” added Sharma. Referring to the Prime Minister’s pitch for the development of the poor, Surjewala charged that the welfare of the weaker sections has become another ‘jumla’ for the government. “The person who talks about welfare of the poor is the one who wears a Rs 10 lakh suit. Modi government has drastically cut funds allocated to all social welfare schemes totalling to Rs 83,000 crore this year,” he claimed.
“Prices of edible oil has reached Rs 185 per litre, pulse over Rs 200/kg and extra cess has been imposed which has become a burden on the people,” claimed the Congress spokesperson. He said that while oil prices in the international market have come down to just over USD 35 per barrel, the government has “refused” to share the same with the public and has actually earned Rs 2 lakh crore by not passing on the benefits to the common man.
“Modi believes in only branding,” he said while demanding that the NDA government should come out with a white paper on the amount of money earned through cess and whether it has been used for the purpose for which it was collected