Full of Faff: TMC MP Derek O'Brien Censures Centre's Claims, Raises 8 Questions
Derek O Brien also asked why PM Modi had answered no question posed in the Rajya Sabha in the last five years.
Reacting to the press conference held by eight Union ministers on Thursday, 12 August, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien referred to the briefing as "full of faff" and refuted Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi's claim that the Monsoon Session had ended prematurely due to the disruptive behaviour of the Opposition.
In a video reply posted on Twitter, O'Brien raised eight questions for the Union ministers, which touched upon contentious matters such as the Pegasus spying allegations, Centre's farm laws, the expeditious passing of bills, and also shed light upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi's inconsistent participation in the Parliament.
The Trinamool MP asked, "Why was the prime minister missing during the OBC debate in Parliament? The former Prime Ministers Deve Gowda ji and Manmohan Singh ji were there. Where was Prime Minister Modi?"
He also further said, "Why were 38 bills passed in both Houses with an average discussion time of 10 minutes per bill? Why has only one out of 10 bills gone from the Lok Sabha for Parliamentary scrutiny? Why are almost 4 bills out of every 10 bills are ordinances? Earlier it was one or two," he said.
He also asked why PM Modi had answered no question posed in the Rajya Sabha in the last five years, and stressed that former PM Manmohan Singh had answered 22 questions.
"Why in two years, the government hasn't elected a deputy speaker in the Lok Sabha?" the MP said.
Furthering the criticism levied on the BJP-led government over the farm laws and Pegasus leaks, he said, "Why did you not allow the Opposition a discussion on Pegasus, internal security, repeal of farm laws. Government must have its way, the Opposition must have its say."
"Whose business is it to run Parliament? Is it the government's responsibility or the Opposition's responsibility? And who is the government accountable to? The people," the MP added.
What the Union Minsters Said
Earlier on Thursday, the government had said that the Opposition must apologise to the nation.
"People wait for their issues to be raised in Parliament. Whereas anarchy remained the Opposition's agenda. They didn't care about people, taxpayers' money. What happened was condemnable. Instead of shedding crocodile tears, they must apologise to nation," Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said on Thursday, according to news agency ANI.
Visuals had emerged of the ruckus in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, 11 August, which showed members of the Opposition jostling with marshals in the Upper House.
"The day before yesterday, some MPs climbed on top of the tables (in Parliament). They were feeling proud of themselves. They thought they've done something great. They tweeted after shooting its video," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi added.
The Monsoon Session of the Parliament saw repeated disruptions and unruly scenes unfold, as the Opposition looked to protest against issues such as the Pegasus Snoopgate.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition leaders from various parties on Thursday also held a march from Parliament House to Vijay Chowk in New Delhi, demanding a repeal of the Centre's contentious farm laws.
They were also protesting against other issues, such as the government's refusal to debate issues such as the price hikes.
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