The Congress on Thursday warned of serious consequences if any attempt was made to review the Constitution, drawing a sharp reaction from the government, which said that the opposition should not issue threats.
Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, while participating in a debate on the Constitution Day, said that Parliament can amend the Constitution but it was altogether a different thing to review it.
“If someone tries to review the Constitution, there could be... (grave consequences),” he said, while contending that earlier such attempts have met with failure.
BJP members including parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu protested against his remarks and demanded that these be expunged as these were objectionable. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said she would expunge the objectionable words.
The NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had set up a commission to review the Constitution under chairmanship of former Chief Justice of India M N Venkatacheliah in 2000. The commission submitted its report in 2002, but the government did not act on its recommendations.
Earlier, Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot sought implementation of the uniform civil code, construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya and repeal of the Article 370 which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
BJD’s Tathagata Sathapaty was critical of the government for trying to impose Hindi on everyone and even questioned the move to charge a cess for cleanliness, as well as raising the issue of intolerance. Trinamool Congress’ Sudip Bandhyopadhyay echoed Sathapaty’s concern on successive Central governments trying to weaken country’s federal structure.
Rejecting the view of many political parties that the Congress did not do anything, Kharge highlighted the contribution of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and initiatives of the UPA government like the Food Security law and Right to Education.