Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, who will speak if the discussion takes place in the Lok Sabha on December 9, said he only wanted to talk about one of the biggest scams—demonetisation—by PM Narendra Modi. If he was allowed to speak then one would see what an earthquake would come.
Responding with a sigh of contempt, party spokesperson Sambit Patra tweeted, “Those who were ‘Epicentre’ of SCAMS for last 60 years talk of ‘Earthquake’ today!!”
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu observed, “May this quake happen when we are not present in parliament.”
The Congress observed a ‘black day’ to mark one month of demonetisation woes. Party workers across the city wore black badges to highlight the common man’s plight in the past 30 days, and the Centre’s failure to give relief. The protest was in response to a call given by Gandhi.
With the Congress indicating that debate on demonetisation may take place on December 9, it is said that Opposition may meet before Parliament session begins to decide the floor strategy. This was being done so as not to break the Opposition unity.
On December 8, the Congress stated that it will agree to a debate without pushing for a rule that entails voting. As per a party leader, the party has changed its tactics. The initial Congress demand was for a debate under rule 56 or rule 184. It remains clear the government should suspend all business to start the discussion.
While this was so, Congress MPs were heard saying that it was time that the party put across its view on the floor of the House.
Blaming the government for the impasse, Gandhi said the government was jittery to give in to voting because it knows that BJP members too would vote along with the Opposition.
When President Pranab Mukherjee asked the Parliament members to behave and conduct business instead of raising protests and disrupting both Houses, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad though he agreed with the President, said it was the ruling party which disturbed both the Houses.
Meanwhile, the BJP criticised Gandhi for making a critical reference to Modi—’PayTm means Pay to Modi’. The BJP countered by saying Gandhi has failed to grasp the depth of the government’s decision.
BJP leader Shrikant Prakash said Gandhi was known to make irresponsible statements. Calling demonetisation a foolish decision, was not a dignified comment by a responsible MP. The Opposition is trying to shoot from shoulders of farmers and poor, who are cooperating with the government.”