The Congress on Tuesday alleged that the government is delaying the winter session of Parliament to avoid questions from the opposition on issues like unemployment, corruption, GST and allegations against Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah, which could expose them in the Gujarat polls. The party leaders also called Prime Minister Narendra Modi “Brahma” — the creator, who alone knows when the session will convene. The party said it would also communicate with President Ram Nath Kovind on the delay in the summoning of the winter session and urge him to take notice of it.
It said the government had turned Parliament into a “joke” and they were “scared of getting exposed” if they convened the winter session of Parliament before the Gujarat assembly election. Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “I have spoken to the Parliamentary Affairs Minister (Ananth Kumar) several times and asked him to tell us a date as to when the winter session is going to begin, so that we can make preparations accordingly. “But he had no clue since it was not confirmed by the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office),” said Azad.
Azad also said the reasons why the government was not summoning the winter session was because they do not want to face the questions of unemployment, Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation and corruption. “We wanted to ask the government about their formula of giving jobs and earning revenue where one can earn Rs 80 crore from Rs 15 lakh. If the BJP President (Amit Shah) has this formula for his company, then he should share it with the people of the country as well. That is the Gujarat model,” said Azad referring to allegations against Jay Shah.
Azad also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his election campaigns saying: “No PM in the past 70 years has campaigned from panchayat elections to parliament polls. He uses defence aircraft and helicopters for his visits. What is the cost of these visits? This is also a scam which will run into thousands of crores.” “The central government has become an election machinery and the cabinet ministers are busy campaigning for elections all the time,” he added.
Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma hit out at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for his statement that the winter session was delayed in the past too. “His statement was a knee-jerk response. He should have checked the facts. He is factually wrong and we reject what he said that in 2011 a similar situation was there.”
He further said: “At least in this century it has not happened. In 2011, the date of summoning the Parliament was on November 3. The session formally convened on November 22 and concluded on December 30. The session was prorogued on January 5, 2012. “There were elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat like now in 2012. The polling in Gujarat was on November 9, 13 and 17 in 2012. The winter session was summoned on November 2 and it was formally convened on November 22, 2012 and continued throughout the election period till December 20, to be prorogued on December 24,” he added.
Sharma also said: “The Prime Minister and his ministers have mastered the art of untruths and half-truths, mislead and confuse the people.” He also called the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister “hypocrites”. Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge said: “They do not want discussion in Parliament, so they are giving different excuses for delaying the winter session.
“If they convene Parliament session and hold discussion, then they will be exposed. So they are trying to convene the session after the Gujarat polls,” said Kharge. He said whatever was happening under the Narendra Modi government was an “attack on democracy”. He added that this year there had been only 38 sittings of the Lok Sabha — the lowest in the past 70 years. “Even ministers of this government and the Speaker do not know when the session will be convened. Only one person knows about it — who is ‘Brahma’… You cannot be whimsical in running a democracy,” he said.