The Congress on Tuesday said the government should give up its “obduracy” to allow a debate in both Houses over the Delhi riots, saying the “silence of Parliament” on the matter will be a poor reflection on the world’s largest democracy.
Congress’ senior spokesperson Anand Sharma also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a veiled dig at his predecessor Manmohan Singh. Addressing the BJP parliamentary party meeting, Modi said attempts were being made to create a controversy around the slogan ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ (Hail Mother India) in the same way objections were raised about ‘Vande Mataram’ after the freedom struggle.
At a recent event, Singh had said the slogan of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ was being misused to construct a “militant and purely emotional” idea of India that excludes millions of residents and citizens. Sharma said it was “unfortunate” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not take Singh’s remarks in the right spirit. “Instead of being sarcastic, he should understand that Dr Manmohan Singh is known for his humility and wisdom. Bharat Mata belongs to all those who live in this country. The slogan ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ or the tricolour have to be held in high respect and not to be used for polarisation, division and violence,” he told reporters outside Parliament.
The deputy leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha said Congress leaders have requested Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and the government to immediately start a discussion on the riots in Delhi. “There is a need for Parliament not only to discuss (Delhi riots) but also to fix accountability, that is exactly what Parliamentary democracy is all about,” Sharma said. “The government should give up its obduracy, its rigidity, and in the larger interest of Indian democracy and respect the institution of Indian Parliament by accepting discussion on the issue,” he said.
It is time to send a message to the people in Delhi and citizens across the country that Parliament, irrespective of parties, is collectively concerned and jointly condemns what has happened in the national capital, Sharma said. “Silence of Indian Parliament does not auger well and will be a poor reflection on the largest democracy in this world,” he said. Sharma also expressed concern over friendly countries conveying their concerns over the violence in Delhi.
“India’s Parliament debating and sending a message will be in the country’s interest in today’s situation,” he said. Proceedings of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were disrupted for the second consecutive day on Tuesday amid uproar over the issue of Delhi violence as Opposition members sought an immediate discussion on the matter.
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