New Delhi: In an unusual protest, five Union Ministers on Friday joined BJP MPs in singing hyms before Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Parliament complex praying for "wisdom" to Congress members who have paralysed Rajya Sabha over Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti's remarks.
Union Ministers Sadananda Gowda, Ananth Kumar, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Ram Vilas Paswan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi besides a number of party MPs held a "prayer meeting" before Gandhi's statue, singing Gandhi's favourite hymn 'ram dhun', minutes after Congress members vacated the spot after holding a protest.
"Raghupati raghav raja ram, Congress ko sanmati de Bhagwaan," the Ministers sang, while backing their colleague Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti whose controversial remarks have sparked off a major row with opposition stalling the Rajya Sabha for the fourth day in a row.
Protesting against repeated disruptions in Rajya Sabha by Congress members who are insisting on the Minister's sack despite the Prime Minister's statement, the NDA Ministers hit out at the Congress for not setting the matter to rest despite the Prime Minister making a statement in the House disapproving the remarks.
"We have gathered here before Mahatma Gandhi to pray for wisdom to the protesting Congress and other opposition members and help allow smooth functioning of Rajya Sabha. We hope better sense prevails upon Congress and other members," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
"This is height of arrogance of the Congress. It is going back on its words as they first wanted the Prime Minister to speak on the issue and when he has done so, they are still continuing to disrupt the Upper House," Naqvi said.
He added that the Congress was taking out the frustration of its loss in the polls in the Upper House and not allowing it to function.
A number of BJP MPs including former Union Ministers Satyanaray Jatiya and C P Thakur, besides Vinay Katiyar, Vijay Goel, Tarun Vijay, R Ramakrishna, V P Singh and Bimla Kashyap Sood, gathered around the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament soon after the Upper House was adjourned following opposition uproar soon after it met for the day.
Earlier, some Congress members led by Rahul Gandhi held a protest outside Parliament House by wearing black bands on their mouths over the controversial comments made by Sadhvi.