BJP rules out communal violence statement by PM

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 18, 2014 11:56 IST

Despite the Opposition’s insistence that Prime Minister Narendra Modi be present in the Rajya Sabha for a discussion on communal violence in the country, the BJP has clearly ruled out any statement from the PM regarding the issue.

This came after PM Modi held a strategy meeting on Monday with key lieutenants in his party where he asked them not to yield to the Opposition’s pressure.

“We (the government) have not done any mistake. Why should we feel sorry?” a source quoted him as saying in the meeting.

The PM, however, will be present in the Rajya Sabha during Thursday’s Question Hour.

“Will the Opposition decide what the government or the party would do?” parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu asked.

The source added that Modi instructed them to collect information – circulars and letters – against the Opposition.

For instance, Naidu dug out a Rajiv Gandhi-era order to Navodaya Vidyalaya’s where students were instructed to stay in school and celebrate all festivals. “All festivals should be celebrated in the vidyalaya only and children should not be permitted to visit their homes during festival time,” the circular issued in 1987 reads.

Though the Opposition has stalled proceedings in the Upper House, government managers are looking for ways to push bills. Several parties, including the Congress and TMC, have issued a whip to their MPs to remain present in the RS on the last two days of session. “For us, the PM’s image is more important than a session. Last time the PM made a statement on the Sadhvi issue, but the Opposition continued to disrupt the Rajya Sabha for next three days,” a minister said.

At an informal meet between the government and opposition leaders, the latter refused to give assurance that order would be restored if the PM makes a statement. BJP members have also moved a notice to discuss the Saradha scam on Thursday, coinciding with TMC chief Mamata Banerjee’s arrival in Delhi.

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