In a taunt to the Congress on the issue of the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said people had not chosen a party for the post but the matter is still "not foreclosed".
"The Congress is not able to understand the spirit of the mandate. The Congress should introspect over its miserable defeat. People have not chosen any Leader of the Opposition and that is the position."
"But I am not foreclosing the issue. If any party had got 55 seats, there would have been no discussion on the issue at all....It is a prerogative of the Speaker," he told reporters here.
He was replying to questions on the Congress' criticism of the president's address to a joint sitting of Parliament.
Hailing the president's address, Naidu said it has shown the right direction, right priorities and the right approach for a strong and stable India.
He said the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha will discuss the Motion of Thanks to the President for his address during the next two days and there will be no Question Hour.
Naidu said BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy will initiate the discussion tomorrow followed by Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will intervene in the debate, he said.
In the Rajya Sabha, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will initiate the debate followed by J P Nadda while Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will intervene.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reply to the discussion in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday evening and after that in the Rajya Sabha on the same day.
Naidu disapproved of TRS and BJD members displaying placards against the Polavaram project in the Lok Sabha today and appealed to them to refrain from such actions in the House.
"We are ready for discussions on any issue. We have to make a new beginning given the mandate of the people to provide a strong and stable government and to have a functioning Parliament."
"I appeal to them not to bring placards and banners inside the House. This is not allowed," he said.
He is absolutely right! In 2004, Congress with only 145 seats to the BJP's 138, claimed that it had a "Janaadesh" to rule and the Janaadesh was against the BJP. Why does it not admit and accept now that the same "Janaadesh" is clearly for the Congress to be confined to the opposition benches WITHOUT even a modicum of solace by grabbing the LoP post, to which it NOT entitled? Congress always follows the principle: "Do as we say. Do not do as we do". Everything that Congress touches reeks of hypocrisy.