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Minister Naqvi calls Congress ‘destructive opposition’

New Delhi: Accusing the Congress of being “obstructionist and destructive”, union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Sunday said the main opposition party has made parliament “a platform to display its narrow political mindset”.

“In a democracy, the opposition has an important role to play but the entire country knows that the Congress has played a role of obstructionist and destructive opposition during this monsoon session,” he said in a blog post.

Out of nine bills, that were identified for introduction in parliament during the session, eight of them remained pending in the Rajya Sabha. These included the GST Bill and the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013.

Other important bills such as the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2015, the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013, and the Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015 could not be taken up due to disruption in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said.

He also accused the Congress of disrespecting people’s mandate which the BJP got in the general election.

“The Congress is denigrating the people’s mandate by blocking reform initiatives taken by the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.

Naqvi said the central government understands that it has a larger responsibility to ensure smooth functioning of parliament. “We understand that the government has bigger duty to ensure that the parliament functions smoothly.”

“Our government has made all honest efforts in this regard from beginning of the monsoon session,” he said, adding that it convened an all-party meeting on July 20 to discuss agenda for session.

“The government was ready for discussion but the Congress made a U-turn and has disrupted proceedings of the parliament from the day one of the monsoon session. Misusing its numerical strength in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress has violated all limits of decorum of the house,” the BJP leader said.

Naqvi said disruption in parliament on genuine issues has been an acceptable part of the country’s parliamentary democracy but “it must be issue-based, logical and in the interest of people of the country”.

The opposition has every democratic right to raise its voice if the government is ignoring public interest, he added.

The minister, apparently referring to Congress leaders’ comments on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, said the comments of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi were against “political decency”.

“The recent comments of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are against political decency,” Naqvi said.

He also took a jibe at Rahul Gandhi saying that he was a “brand new leader of the grand old party”, who neither understands realities of the roads nor importance of parliament.

“Political journey from nonsense to nuisance of Rahul Baba, the brand new leader of the grand old party, is miles away from ground realities,” he wrote.