A war of words erupted between the Congress and the BJP on Thursday after a spokesperson of the ruling party accused the opposition of acting as “agents of Maoists” for stalling parliament proceedings.
The BJP shot back, dubbing Congress members “agents of Quattrocchi”. RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who has an axe to grind against the Congress for his party’s rout in Bihar polls, objected to the statement. “Such remarks are unfortunate. By rejecting the JPC demand, they (Congress) have proved that like Maoists they have no faith in the system,” he said.
The exchange was triggered off with Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari’s statement: “There is propaganda of Maoists that Indian democracy does not reflect the aspirations of the people. The manner in which the opposition has disrupted parliament and not allowed the supreme voice of the people to function it takes credence to the propaganda of Maoists. It almost seems as opposition is behaving as their agents.” BJP’s Prakash Javdekar retorted by raking up the Bofors issue.
“Quattrocchi’s agents are accusing us of being Maoist agents. They do not have the right to say so.”
Tewari later amended his statement after the opposition launched an all-out attack. Apparently, the remarks did not go down well by the Congress leadership.
Tewari clarified his intention was not to insult anybody. “What can I do if rhetoric and metaphor are lost out on people? I was only pointing towards serious consequences of the situation that is unfolding in Parliament for last 15 days. Who stands to benefit if winter session ends without any substantial work and parliament is reduced to a wrestling ground of political interests is a serious question...” he said.
Tewari also claimed that while the opposition’s JPC demand “per se is not undemocratic” the “the hold up of parliament on the issue is definitely undemocratic”.
Congress media department chief Janardan Dwivedi said Tewari was asked to explain what he had said.