Sonia Gandhi Says PM Modi Lacks Courage to Face Parliament, Jaitley Hits Back
Sonia Gandhi said the Modi government in its arrogance has cast a dark shadow on India' Parliamentary democracy by sabotaging the Parliament session on flimsy grounds.
The Rajya Sabha win is a huge moral victory for Sonia Gandhi's (L) Congress, while BJP president Amit Shah's ego and 'Congress Mukt Bharat' masterplan has taken a hit.
New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of sabotaging the winter session of Parliament on flimsy grounds and said he lacks the courage to face the House.
Hours later, finance minister Arun Jaitley refuted the allegations and said Congress, too, had delayed Parliament sessions in the past. He said that dates would be announced soon and sessions were often rescheduled to ensure they did not overlap with elections.
The winter session traditionally convenes from the third week of November and lasts till the third week of December.
Sources said the BJP was delaying the session on account of the Gujarat election, but may be forced to call a truncated 10-day sitting. The Congress has accused the BJP of being scared of facing tough questions on demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax.
Addressing a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, Sonia said the “Narendra Modi government in its arrogance has cast a dark shadow on India's Parliamentary democracy by sabotaging the Parliament session on flimsy grounds.”
“It is mistaken if it thinks that by locking the temple of democracy, it will escape constitutional accountability ahead of the assembly elections,” she added.
In a scathing attack, she said Modi had the “audacity to have a midnight celebration in Parliament to launch an ill-prepared and flawed” Goods and Services Tax (GST) but lacked the courage to face Parliament.
“Parliament is the forum in which questions should be asked – questions about corruption in high places, conflict of interest of serving ministers and dubious defense deals. In order to avoid the questions and answer ahead of Gujarat elections, the government has taken the extraordinary step of not holding a winter session when they should be held,” Gandhi said on Monday.
Hitting back, Jaitley said the opposition party had also delayed a session in 2011 and even earlier because the sittings coincided with election campaigns.
“It has been a tradition and it has happened several times that Parliament sessions are rescheduled when an election is happening,” he told reporters. He also said the session would be held and the Congress “totally exposed”.
“The Congress has given the most corrupt government in its ten years of rule, while Narendra Modi has given the most honest government. By forcibly saying that a truth is a lie does not make it a lie,” Jaitley said.
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