Congress has history of rescheduling House sittings, says Arun Jaitley.
New Delhi: Chairing her last meeting of the Congress Working Committee, Congress president Sonia Gandhi launched a scathing attack on the government for “sabotaging the Winter Session of Parliament”. Mrs Gandhi said, “The Modi government in its arrogance has cast a dark shadow on India’s parliamentary democracy by sabotaging the Winter Session of Parliament on flimsy grounds. The government is mistaken if it thinks that by locking the temple of democracy, it will escape constitutional accountability ahead of the Assembly elections.”
Refuting Mrs Gandhi’s charge, finance minister Arun Jaitley said Parliament sessions were often rescheduled to ensure they did not overlap with elections, and that the Congress had itself done so several times, including in 2011 and earlier because the sittings coincided with election campaigns.
The Winter Session of Parliament traditionally convenes from the third week of November and lasts till the third week of December. Assembly polls are due to be held in Gujarat in two phases on December 9 and 14.
Chiding Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the mid-night Parliament session to roll out GST, Mrs Gandhi said, “The Prime Minister had the audacity to have a midnight celebration in Parliament to launch an ill-prepared and flawed GST. But today he lacks the courage to face Parliament.”
She went on to add that unemployment, rising inflation, falling exports and the ill-conceived GST are causing hardships to millions of people.
Mrs Gandhi also accused the Prime Minister of making “false promises and quoting facts and figures that have nothing to do with reality on the ground.”
Hitting back at the Congress president, Mr Jaitley said that this is not the first time that the Parliament session is being rescheduled. “It has been a tradition and it has happened several times that Parliament sessions are rescheduled when an election is happening. The session would be held for sure and that the Congress will be totally exposed,” he said.
Mr Jaitley said that the government has nothing to hide, and added, “The Congress has given the most corrupt government in its 10 years of rule, while Narendra Modi has given the most honest government. By forcibly saying that a truth is a lie does not make it a lie.”
According to the BJP the Parliament session was rescheduled in 2011 when the Congress was in power.