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Jaitley takes on Congress, AAP chief Kejriwal in Facebook post

india Updated: Dec 24, 2015 18:14 IST
Arun Jaitley

Finance minister Arun Jaitley during the winter session of Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday.(PTI)

Attacking the “current generation” of the Congress leadership for weakening “what their ancestors established” in terms of setting “healthy precedents” in parliamentary democracy, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP’s) success in Delhi seems to have “misled” the Congress that “vulgarity” brings votes.

This came a day after the end of the winter session of Parliament, which witnessed repeated disruptions of proceedings — especially in the Rajya Sabha, with the Congress demanding his resignation for alleged irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Jaitley headed the DDCA for about a decade although he was not involved in its day-to-day activities, as noted by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) that gave him a clean chit during the UPA regime.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Jaitley slammed Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who recently called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “psychopath”, and other AAP leaders for lowering the level of public discourse by resorting to “lumpenisation” and “falsehood delivered with vulgar overtones”. Jaitley has already filed civil and criminal defamation suits against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders for linking him with the alleged irregularities in the DDCA.

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“People in positions are expected to act with restraint. They cannot be outlandish. Vulgarity is not a right available to them. The political discourse cannot be couched in vulgar language. Falsehood delivered with vulgar overtones is not a substitute of truth. Lumpenisation of public discourse can never be high point of politics,” said the finance minister, adding that it is time that public opinion expresses its outrage against it. Wondering if vulgarity is the new norm in Indian politics, he said, “I hope not.”

Some months ago a few BJP members made statements, which were not appreciated even by the party. BJP president Amit Shah cautioned them and advised them to refrain from making such statements. “The result of the caution are visible,” he wrote.

Slamming the principal opposition party, he said that the last two sessions of Parliament witnessed a “clear stand” of the Congress that Parliament shall not be allowed to function.

“Most of the congress leaders, in private, have expressed helplessness over the decision of their leadership that Parliament must be disturbed continuously.”

“... The Congress Party leadership must seriously explore that its disproportionate and irrational approach in dealing with Parliament is hurting institutions. If Pandit Nehru can be credited in the initial years of our democracy of having laid down healthy precedents… the current generation in control of the Congress Party will find a place in history of having weakened what their ancestors established.”

Referring to the passage of some bills without discussions in the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said, “How far is it desirable to pass important legislations on the last day without discussion? Statistically, we have passed a law. But has Parliament applied its mind to the law?”