Prime News, National (New Delhi), September 25:- Taking a stern view of over the chaos that erupted in the Parliament during the passing of the farm bills on September 20, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi lambasted the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and termed the incident “a blot on the conduct of the Opposition”. In an interview to CNN-News18, Joshi talks about the misconduct of MPs and the downfall of Congress and says the NDA had numbers all along to pass the Bill. Edited Excerpts:
What is your take on the misconduct of MPs in the Parliament during the passing of controversial farm bills on September 20? Chairman of the House, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, said they “tarnished” the image of the House of Elders.
The incident was clearly a blot on the conduct of the Opposition. The way Congress and parties behaved on that day… it is clearly a black day in the history of Indian democracy. The way in which MPs behaved with Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh shows their sheer frustration, it shows they don’t respect any position or institution. They knew they cannot attack the government so they chose to target him. Harivansh took a stand to tell them to go to their seats. It was not good on the part of the grand old party to do this, it was a knee-jerk reaction. They moved a no-confidence motion without realising that one needs to move the motion for it… it showed they were rattled.
Why did you rush the session?
The proposal to reduce the session came from the MPs of opposition parties. I don’t want to take any names but if you ask them privately without quoting them they will agree to it. Quite a few opposition leaders told us they were ready to sit over and above the stipulated time to finish the work and were largely in the favour of curtailing the session.
Opposition leaders have claimed that you passed the Bill in the middle of the din because you realised the numbers were not in your favour.”
This is a blatant misconception by the opposition parties. The numbers for NDA were over 100 that day in Rajya Sabha. The opposition was not more than 75, BJP had 82 out of 86 MPs present, four were absent, including the vacancy created due to Ashok Gasti’s death. We had our ally JDU which had three out of five MPs present. The AIADMK has nine MPs, out of which four were present. The YSRCP also supported us… out of six its members, five were present for the Bill. Two MPs of PDP and one TDP MP was to support us. Also, support of smaller parties along with independent and nominated members we had another 15 MPS in support. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).