Govt, Oppn Stick to Their Stands, Stalemate Over Sadhvi's Remarks Persists

New Delhi
Govt, Oppn Stick to Their Stands, Stalemate Over Sadhvi's Remarks Persists

Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement in Rajya Sabha, there was no immediate sign of an end to the stalemate over controversial remarks by Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti with the government and the opposition declining to budge from their stands.

The deadlock worsened with government rejecting the opposition demand for Jyoti's sacking while the opposition wondered what prevented the Prime Minister from taking "exemplary action" against the minister, suspecting a design at communal polarisation.

Accusing the opposition, especially Congress, of "throwing all democratic norms to the winds", Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said "there is no question of the minister's sacking. The opposition demand is not just.

"Government is trying to be more democratic, more sober and more responsive. They want everyday to adjourn the House," said Naidu on a day when proceedings in Rajya Sabha were paralysed for the third day in a row while the issue saw disruptions in the Lok Sabha too.

Hitting back, Congress deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said "that the parentage of 70 per cent population of the country has been questioned (by the minister) and this is the abuse and hurt being caused by this RSS, BJP philosophy," noting that BJP had polled only 30 per cent votes in its favour to come to power.

Sharma wondered what prevented the Prime Minister from taking "exemplary action" against the minister and made it clear that the responsibility to break the stalemate was with the government.

Asked whether the winter session of parliament will be a wash out, he remarked, "I cannot say".

Naidu, on his part, said it is the opposition which has to decide. "Let Congress decide whether they want Parliament to run or not," he said.

Government managers were attacking the "double-standards" of Congress in attacking a first-time woman minister of weaker section even after an apology, having ignored even more serious omissions of seniors in the past.

They said Congress first wanted the Prime Minister to speak on the issue in the House and now when he has spoken and disapproved her remarks strongly, they are going back on their words by putting forth fresh conditions for smooth running of the Upper House.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said "government's soberiety should not be construed as its weakness."

Naidu alleged the opposition has "no concern" for democratic norms.

Sharma, however, said, "the PM's words are not adequate...It is a closed matter for them, not for us. You can call it deadlock ...Whatever it is, it continues. It is government's responsibility to break this."

He said the government has made no attempt in real sense to resolve it and this incident brings out dichotomy between the words and deeds of the government and "there cannot be two different standards - one for the common man, one for the minister."

The Congress leader said the Prime Minister's remarks that he said something in the party meeting does not resolve the issue of the violation of the Constitution and law.

Attacking the Prime Minister, he said he took three days to travel a distance of less than 200 steps from his office in Parliament House to Rajya Sabha. "It does not take so long a time. He should have come to the Rajya Sabha the same day when the issue was raised and kept the honour of the House," he said.

Citing earlier remarks of BJP leaders like Giriraj Singh and Yogi Adityanath, he said "BJP can be called a party of "serial offenders."

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