Jaitley flays an ‘isolated’ Congress over House disruptions

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With four days left to go for the monsoon session, the Congress continued to paralyse both houses of parliament, forcing finance minister Arun Jaitley on 10 August to go hammer and tongs against the situation prevailing in the Rajya Sabha.

Alleging that two senior Congress leaders are not interested in allowing the House to function, Jaitley squarely blamed the Congress for blocking the GST Bill and said Sushma Swaraj’s resignation was only a pretext.

“The Rajya Sabha can’t be conducted in this manner…the government is not being allowed to speak,” he told deputy chairperson PJ Kurien, who is also a Congress leader. It is unfortunate in the way House is being conducted.

“Except disturbance and disruption, the party doesn’t know anything else. The Congress was using Swaraj only as an excuse to block the GST Bill,” he added.

On 10 August, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “The government has not responded on the issues which have blocked parliament for the past three weeks.”

So far, the Congress hasn’t allowed any work to be conducted in parliament since session kicked off on June 21. The Modi government has only four days left to push through important bills, such as the GST Bill, which will bring about the biggest indirect tax reform since 1947.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav breaking ranks said his party will not support the Congress if it continues to agitate in parliament.

Democracy cannot be held hostage to whims and fancies of a party,” Mulayam is reported to have told the Congress MPs.

As per parliament sources, Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal (United), Trinamool Congress and AAP supported Mulayam’s ultimatum, thereby isolating the Congress in parliament.

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