NEW DELHI: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, questioning his parliamentary record and the state of democracy under his leadership.
Speaking at the start of the Special Session of the Parliament, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said that PM Modi had only given two statements in the Rajya Sabha during his nine years in power, compared to 21 statements by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and 30 statements by Manmohan Singh.
“Every other time it is Piyush Goyal who has to speak on behalf of PM Modi,” Kharge claimed.
Kharge also questioned Modi’s silence on Manipur and his choice to abstain from speaking on the issue in the Rajya Sabha.
Drawing parallels with the first government of independent India under Jawaharlal Nehru, Kharge said that Modi was trying to quell a strong opposition through the imposition of central agencies like the ED and CBI.
“Nehru had said that a strong opposition is needed for a strong government but our present prime minister does not want that. The government is trying to weaken a strong opposition through ED and CBI raids. Then they poach the same politicians, and pass them through their washing machine,” he said.
Emphasising upon the need for a strong opposition, Kharge said that Nehru had allowed two members of opposing beliefs to be a part of his Cabinet – Dr B R Ambedkar and S P Mookerji – but in this government there is no space for the inclusion of the opposition.
Kharge also said that the need of the hour was to discuss the prime minister’s absence in the parliament and the successive attacks on the opposition, rather than the success of the G20. He also highlighted that the logo of G20 seemed more like G2 as the zero was hidden by the lotus flower.
Kharge began his speech by pleading with the chairperson to withdraw the suspension of Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MPs Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chadha.
The Special Session of the Parliament is set to be held for five days, ending on September 23.