New Delhi, Apr 5 (PTI) The Congress today termed as a “gimmick” the step taken by NDA MPs to forgo their 23-day salary during the budget session of Parliament in view of disruptions and asked whether the move was aimed at diverting public attention from the multi-crore scams in the country.

Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar alleged that the government, which had “failed” to run Parliament, was “misleading” the people that the opposition was trying to disrupt proceedings in the two houses.

“The government is trying to mislead the country… and is resorting to gimmicks, one after the other.

“The government has to answer whether by forgoing Rs 2,000 daily allowance of MPs, can it compensate for the Rs 2.5 lakh crore lost in scams that have taken place under the very nose of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is only a gimmick aimed at diverting public attention from key issues,” he told reporters.

The Congress leader said his party wanted the anti-corruption law to be passed, but the opposition is not obliged to toe the government line in passage of legislative business.

He said the opposition was obliged to raise issues of public importance in Parliament that concerned common people. These issues include the multi-crore PNB scam, dilution of SC/ ST Act, the Cauvery issue, farm distress, disillusionment among youth and the CBSE paper leak scam.

Various opposition parties including the DMK also formed a human chain outside Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Parliament to protest the government’s alleged failure to hold discussion on key issues.

Babbar said while the prime minister had promised to bring back black money stashed abroad, just the opposite was happening as the hard-earned money of common people deposited in banks was being taken out of the country by “fraudsters like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi”.

“The opposition wants to raise this issue and discuss it in Parliament,” he said.

Babbar also said that the UPA Government had promised to give special status to Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation but the NDA government was now backing out from the commitment.

He also accused the government of diluting the SC/ST Act by not presenting the case properly before the Supreme Court. He said while the BJP and NDA talk about B R Ambedkar all the time, they are trying to dilute Acts that grant protection to the marginalised communities.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.