Taking a dig at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said on Wednesday that whenever the opposition leader speaks, his own party gets “exposed” and it “benefits” the ruling side.
“Rahulji, we want you to speak in the Lok Sabha...,” Union human resource development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is involved in corruption. He said he wanted to reveal this in Parliament, but was prevented by the ruling majority from speaking there.
For his part, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said if the Congress vice-president actually has documents, he should expose the Prime Minister even if it happens to be outside Parliament.
“If Rahul Gandhi actually has papers on Modi ji’s personal involvement in corruption, then why doesn’t he expose it outside Parl?” Kejriwal tweeted.
For her part, BSP supremo Mayawati claimed the Modi government was not ready for the demonetisation exercise and the decision to recall Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes was hasty. She also attacked the Prime Minister on the issue, saying he was speaking everywhere except for Parliament as he lacked strength to address the House.
Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said the entire parliamentary system was facing a “threat” as government was not allowing the House to function smoothly and the opposition to speak.
“We cannot understand why so much arrogance on the part of the government. The voice of the opposition is being gagged,” he said.
NCP leader Tariq Anwar too said it was for the first time that an atmosphere had been created where the opposition was not allowed to speak.
Javadekar of the BJP leader criticised opposition parties for protesting the government’s November 8 decision to scrap the old banknotes, a move the Modi said was aimed at rooting out corruption and black money.
“When they were in power, they were involved in corruption. All the corruption cases, whether its 2G scam, Commonwealth scam or coal scam -- all happened during their time.”
“All these Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were involved (in those scams),” Javdekar alleged.
“And even now, when they are not in power, they are still involved in corruption -- they are now involved in converting black money into white,” Javdekar said.
The BJP leader’s remarks came a day after a TV channel in a series of stings revealed that many politicians in Delhi-NCR were allegedly laundering cash and converting black money into white at a hefty commission.
Leaders of various parties, including the Congress, NCP, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and the Janata Dal-United, were purportedly caught on camera at their party offices, negotiating terms of black money conversion in the sting operations aired by India Today TV channel on Tuesday night.
“They (opposition leaders) are completely exposed now. The stings show they are demanding huge commission to convert black money into white,” Javadekar said.
Making light of the protest of Opposition leaders against the demonetisation decision, Javadekar said: “Their protests (in the name of people’s woes) are fake. They are protesting because it has hurt their businesses.”
“They must apologise to the nation,” he demanded.
The HRD Minister also lashed out at the opposition party leaders for stalling Parliament and accused them of escaping from the debate.