(Eds: Updating with details, more quotes of Ghulam Nabi Azad) New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) Amid continued disruptions in Parliament, leaders of over a dozen opposition parties today appealed to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu for holding discussion on key matters like the SC/ST Act, PNB bank fraud, CBSE paper leak and Cauvery issue.
As both Houses of Parliament were disrupted for the 20th day, opposition leaders, including from the Congress, BSP, SP, DMK, NCP, TMC and the Left parties, met in Parliament to discuss the lack of debate.
Alleging that their voice was being suppressed in the House, the leaders said they want bills to be passed in Parliament, but demanded discussion on the issues of national importance first.
Some opposition leaders met the Rajya Sabha chairman and the Lok Sabha speaker in the morning to put forth their demand for a discussion on key issues.
After the meeting with other opposition parties, the Congress told reporters that it would not mind if Parliament session was extended by a day or two, but a debate should take place.
The party also gave a notice to the chairman of the Upper House seeking a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a news report about Union minister Piyush Goyal’s alleged links with a company which has defaulted in repaying loans to the tune of Rs 650 crore.
“We want to hold discussions on key issues of national importance and we also want to pass legislation. The government should take the lead in doing so. We are not averse even if the session is extended by a day or two,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told mediapersons.
He alleged that the government has so far not approached the opposition to resolve the stalemate in Parliament.
“We want discussion in Parliament, we want Bills to be passed. That is what we are meant for as Legislature. At the same time, the MPs who represent the people of India directly or indirectly, are also supposed to raise issues on the floor of the House and draw the government’s attention towards those national and state issues… But, the government has failed miserably to find solution to all these issues,” Azad told reporters.
Noting that issues such as the SC/ST Act, PNB bank fraud, CBSE paper leak are agitating the minds of millions of people across the country, he said these matters need to be discussed on the floor of the House.
This has been brought to the notice of the chairman of the Rajya Sabha and the speaker of the Lok Sabha, Azad said, adding, “We have brought it to the notice of the Government of India that the government should come forward.” He said this is for the first time that no senior minister has approached the Leader of Opposition the Rajya Sabha or opposition party leaders on behalf of the government to resolve the impasse in Parliament as “they are scared”.
“They are scared that their involvement in bank fraud, and in so many other cases, will be exposed and they would be caught red handed. This is the reason why they do not want the House to function,” Azad claimed.
Alleging that their voice was being suppressed in the House and they are not being allowed to discuss key issues, he said, “We are ready to pass any amount of legislation. We are ready to sit overtime. We are ready to sit extra days to pass the Legislation but not by skipping work and the issues which are agitating the minds of the millions of the people.” Asked if they would explore other options, the Congress leader said, “First we have to exhaust our options on the floor of the House.” “When Parliament is in session and we are not being heard, we are drawing the attention of the government through the media that let us discuss our issues and the issues which are agitating the minds of the millions of the people,” he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.