Signalling that Budget session is unlikely to be a smooth affair, Congress on Sunday latched on to BJP leader Yashwant Sinha’s comments to accuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “not believing in dialogue” and blamed it for the “confrontation” between the government and Opposition.
“The Prime Minister does not believe in dialogue. He likes one way communication, be it with his organisation or with the media. Even inside Parliament, he does not believe in discussion...,” senior Congress spokesman Anand Sharma.
“His mindset is responsible for the atmosphere of confrontation. His arrogance and obstinacy are responsible for the situation of confrontation between the government and the opposition,” he alleged.
Sharma, who is also the deputy leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha, claimed that the Prime Minister has not made any effort in the past 20 months since coming to power to usher in an atmosphere of constructive cooperation by taking into confidence the Opposition and its leaders.
“His style of functioning, his concentration of decision making is proving detrimental to parliamentary democracy,” he said, adding that it was a matter of concern.
Sharma’s remarks came in response to queries on senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha comments made at a conference in Goa on Saturday which indicated that he was critical of PM Modi though Sinha on Sunday contended that his remarks had been “completely misunderstood” and misinterpreted.
During the discussion, was asked about the present day culture of “I, me, myself” and what was the use for dialogue in such case.
The former minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government replied that elected representatives including to Parliament and Assemblies have to continuously go back to the people who elect them.
Sinha then referred to the Emergency of 1975 and said the country knew what happened to the “most concerted effort in our country to still the voice of dissent”.
“We all know how the people of India reacted. So, there would be aberrations here, aberrations there, we might be very concerned about the present situation because some of these things according to us are taking place.
“But the great Indian society will take care of it and will consign to the dust those who do not believe in dialogue in India. The people of India will consign him to the dust, you just have to wait for the next elections,” Sinha said yesterday, without naming Modi.
Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi took to Twitter to take a dig at the BJP over Sinha’s remarks.
“A party which has people like Shatru, Kirti, Yashwant and Joshi, does not need any opposition,” he remarked in apparent reference to Shatrughan Sinha, Kirti Azad, Yashwant Sinha and Murli Manohar Joshi.
In an apparent dig at the Prime Minister, he said in another tweet, “Due to the democratic structure put up by Congress in 68 years, people not believing in democracy are today occupying the top posts”.
Replying to a question on forming an alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the Assembly polls next year, Sharma said that the party is making efforts to strengthen itself on the ground and suggested that there was still time to decide such issues.
He said that the Congress attempt would be to defeat BJP and bring together progressive forces.
According to sources, JD(U) and RLD are exploring the possibility of an umbrella alliance with Congress and some smaller parties in Uttar Pradesh for the 2017 Assembly elections after the JD(U)-RJD-Congress coalition inflicted a humiliating defeat on BJP-led NDA in the Bihar polls.