Parliament logjam in times of political guerilla warfare


Photo credit video grab of Sansad TV

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, July 28: A ‘happily’ belligerent BJP spearheaded by Union Minister Smiriti Irani today scripted a guerilla attack on the Congress, already on Oxygen mask and trying to resurrect itself by its waning attempts to derail the Monsoon Session.

Embellishing her tirade with ‘right histrionics’ against Congress for “insulting” the first tribal woman President Droupadi Murmu by calling her “Rashtrapatni”, Irani sought to pulverize Congress  president Sonia Gandhi by saying the “insult” against the Constitutional head of the country had “her sanction”.

A bumbling Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury made worse the case for Sonia by his extremely weak-inarticulate-defence for the ED-investigated Sonia.

Both the Houses of Parliament plunged into extreme pandemonium on Thursday just a day after the Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu had brought the Union Ministers and the Opposition leaders face to face to agree for a discussion on the issue of the price rise and allow the Parliament to resume normal functioning after a week-long washout.

Chowdhury, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, is in the habit of speaking in Hindi even while he has obvious discomfort in the language.

The Congress in the company of the Trinamool Congress, DMK and other parties had been successful in hogging the limelight with their wells-scripted protests, inside the two Houses of Parliament and also outside.

Chowdhury gave those rare opportunity to the BJP to race back into the limelight.

The BJP pounced on the Congress as a canine predator in the Parliament, unleashing its two combative leaders Piyush Goyal and Smriti Irani, to go after the Opposition party, and particularly Sonia Gandhi.

“Calling the President of India, ‘Rashtrapatni’ wasn’t a slip of the tongue. It was a deliberate sexist insult against the person who comes from a tribal background. Therefore, Smt. Sonia Gandhi should apologise for the remark made by her party leader,” said Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Finance Minister was in the House after a long gap, while the delay in taking up the discussion on the issue of price rise was attributed to her indisposition after she returned from Bali where she had gone to attend the G20 FM meeting.

Smriti Irani was livid and furious in her attack against the Congress, after she vainly sought to wriggle out of the controversy of her daughter allegedly running a bar-cum-restaurant in Goa on a license renewed by a dead man.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh sought a counter-attack, alleging that the Ministers were allowed by the presiding officer in the Rajya Sabha to speak during Zero Hour and Question Hour.

Afterwards, the BJP was back to its usual strategy to unleash its full battery of Union Ministers to go after the first family of the Congress. For that purpose, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal along with the Ministers with Dalit backgrounds were asked to do the talking for the television media.

The BJP offensive ostensibly came on the back of the government coming under pressure to get the order of the presiding officers to suspend as many as 26 MPs revoked as agreed during the meeting with Naidu yesterday.

The government wanted the Opposition to apologise for their conduct in the well of two Houses. The Opposition wasn’t agreeable to such a condition.

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