After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today hit out at BJP total washout of monsoon session, leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj fired back saying, "Not allowing parliament to function is also a form of democracy like any other form".
The PM slammed BJP for 'total negation' of democracy and asked people to stand up against such attitude of disruption, warning that it would be a 'grave violation' of Parliamentary politics.
He maintained that the CAG report on coal block allocation should have been discussed in Parliament and Public Accounts Committee but the Opposition chose to cause disruptions.
"We have just ended a wasted session of Parliament. Both the Houses were paralysed because CAG has issued a report which rightly or wrongly has certain allegations about public functionaries," Singh told reporters outside Parliament shortly after the end of Monsoon Session.
"We have great respect for the institution of CAG, but if we do respect this institution, we must be willing to debate its finding in PAC or even on the floor of Parliament which we have always been willing," he said.
Without naming BJP, Singh said, "The Opposition chose not to take advantage of the subtle institutional practices dealing with the reports of CAG and insisted on disrupting Parliament. This is negation of democracy."
The BJP fired back, with Sunshma Swaraj 'reminding' the Prime Minister that when he was leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, they had stalled parliament over the Tehelka issue.
"Even over the coffin scam, they stalled parliament and called us coffin theives," Sushma Swaraj said.
Backing her, BJP leader Arun Jaitley called irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks, a "textbook case of crony capitalism."
Parliament could work only on six out of 19 days of sittings because of BJP's unrelenting demands for resignation of the Prime Minister over the coal block allocation issue besides cancellation of allotments and setting up of independent inquiry.
The Prime Minister said a paralysed Parliament was a "total negation" of the functioning democracy that India is and appealed to the countrymen to stand up unitedly to allow functioning of such democratic institutions.
"I would like my countrymen and countrywomen to make up their mind if this is the right way to serve our functioning democracy. We take pride in the fact that since Independence, we have been a practising and functioning democracy," he said.
"What we have witnessed in this session is a total negation of that and all right thinking people in our country should stand up and unitedly come up in (one) voice that come what may, Parliamentary institutions must be allowed to function with the norms as we have known them since Independence," Singh said.
He said Parliament was not allowed to discuss important issues facing the country like problems of rising communal tensions, regional and ethnic tension, terrorism, and naxalism.
Troubled monsoon session of Parliament comes to end
PM asks people to reject BJP for disrupting Parliament
BJP: Not allowing Parliament to function also part of democracy
PM's message: full text
(with PTI, IANS inputs)