New Delhi: Accusing the Opposition of stalling proceedings and obstructing crucial legislative business in Rajya Sabha, government on Tuesday said they had held national interest "captive" by their "short-sighted" political considerations.
"I am constrained to say that the opposition has let the country down in the Rajya Sabha during this Winter Session. The way they have disrupted the House for almost half of the session time has no justification," Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said.
"It is unfortunate that the interests of the country had been held captive by their short-sighted political considerations," he told reporters at the conclusion of the session.
In a sharp attack, Naidu said, "I hope that the opposition would have realised that the battle with the government will have to be on the strength of their ideas rather than shrillness of their voices."
Drawing a comparison between the functioning of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, he asked as to why the Upper House had been marred by interruptions in 16 of the 22 sittings, while the Lower House witnessed brief interruptions on five sittings.
While Lok Sabha passed "a record of 18 bills" as against 12 in the last Budget Session, Rajya Sabha cleared only 12 legislations during this period, the minister said, adding the Upper House could not take up six bills passed by Lok Sabha.
"We have majority in Lok Sabha and they have the numbers in Rajya Sabha. ... It is evident that while the majority in Lok Sabha was used constructively, the same was used to obstruct legislation in Rajya Sabha," Naidu said.
Observing that it would not be wise to "totally obstruct" legislations, he appealed to Opposition parties to "seriously introspect and ensure that Parliament lives up to expectations of the people in the times to come."