PM expects Rajya Sabha to be rubber stamp, says Congress
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said the PM did not discuss any roadmap to revive the Indian economy.Updated: Jun 26, 2019 23:59 IST
The Congress on Wednesday claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not responded to key issues raised during the discussion in the Rajya Sabha, and criticised him for calling the Upper House “obstructionist”.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said the PM did not discuss any roadmap to revive the Indian economy. “There is a visible slowdown of investments, no new factories are being created, and the gross fixed capital formation during the previous five years has been stagnant at 2-3%. The banks have no money to lend, industry has no capacity to take credit… Investment itself has fallen by 7 percentage points. As a result, unemployment has risen to a 45-year-high,” Sharma told reporters in Parliament after the PM’s address in the Rajya Sabha. He said it was alarming that in 2018 alone, India had lost 11 million jobs.
He claimed the PM expected the Upper House to be a “rubber stamp”, which its MPs refuse to be. “Rajya Sabha is doing its constitutional duty to ensure that every legislation goes through legislative and parliamentary scrutiny before it is passed and becomes the law of the land,” he said.
Sharma claimed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had made a “fundamental departure” from tradition by conducting business even when sitting member Madanlal Saini passed away. “As per the rules, no transaction of business could have taken place… But since the PM had to leave for Japan, we accommodated, made a very painful departure by agreeing for a debate that continued yesterday and sat late into the night to ensure the PM is not late even by a minute,” Sharma said.
He said there was some relief that the BJP had admitted that Sardar Patel was a Congressman. “We are happy that after five years we forced an acknowledgment in Parliament that Sardar Patel was a Congress leader, and that he was the Congress president, India’s first deputy prime minister and home minister,” he said.
He asked the BJP to put a plaque beneath the statue of Sardar Patel -- his handwritten letter of February 4, 1948 banning the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the BJP’s ideological parent.
“Let the Prime Minister and his government accept that Sardar Patel’s order of February 4, 1948 banning the RSS and the reasons he gave in his handwritten order, followed by a gazette notification, should be put beneath the statue… that would be a fitting tribute,” Sharma said.