To Target Oppn, Govt 'Pressured' LS Speaker to Allow Lalit Modi Debate: Cong

New Delhi
To Target Oppn, Govt 'Pressured' LS Speaker to Allow Lalit Modi Debate: Cong

Congress today claimed it was government "pressure" on the Lok Sabha Speaker which saw her allow a discussion on the Lalit Modi controversy through an adjournment motion after she had rejected that very demand by opposition parties for four weeks during the Monsoon session.

The party charged that the government agreed for the debate under an adjournment motion at the fag end of the session so that it could target the opposition for the continuous disruptions of Parliament over the Lalit Modi and Vyapam controversies.

Congress further said that it was BJP and the NDA government that it leads which were alone responsible for the wash-out of the Monsoon session.

Congress's leader in the Lower House, Mallikarjun Kharge, said that the move by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on the penultimate day of the session came after she was pressurised by the government on the issue.

At a joint press conference along with the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kharge said it was strange how the Speaker gave her consent to what she had rejected before in writing.

"That showed how much pressure" she was under from the government, Congress said.

The Speaker allowed the Lalit Modi row to be discussed under an adjournment motion after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj pleaded with her to go for such a course and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu backed such a move.

Kharge said that Congress had from day one of the Monsoon session been calling for the issue to be taken up through an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha, but the demand was being rejected daily by the Chair.

"Suddenly, under pressure of the government, she accepted," claimed Kharge.

Kharge said that while the government was now targeting the opposition, it has not given it credit for the "128 per cent" work in earlier sessions that saw the passage of several bills due to Congress's cooperation.

Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said that despite being the Leader of the House, he did not come to the House for a single day during the Monsoon session.

Azad for his part said that in the Upper House, Congress had taken the line of "no resignation, no discussion" as it "doesn't trust this government which would not keep any promise".

"We may be down, but not out. Even the mighty British empire could not scare us. What is BJP?" Azad said when asked whether Congress would get cowed down by BJP's attempts to target it in various ways.

Azad further dubbed as "fascist" plans by the ruling party's MPs and Union ministers to campaign against opposition MPs in their constituencies. He said that Congress, despite its long stints in power, has never made such attacks on the opposition.

Azad also slammed Swaraj for making allegations against former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and said BJP should apologise to the nation for it.

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