New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Wednesday witnessed uproar over the reported move to keep schools open on Christmas with several opposition parties accusing government of "misleading" the House and implementing Sangh Parivar agenda, evoking a sharp attack on the Gandhi family from treasury benches.
Congress, TMC, Left and NCP walked out of the House, expressing dissatisfaction over government's reply that Christmas holiday will not be disturbed as it observes 'Good Governance Day' to mark the birthday of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which is also on December 25.
The issue, which has been causing uproar in Parliament since Monday, was raised by K C Venugopal (Cong) who read out official "circulars" asking schools and universities to observe the day by organising several activities.
The circulars, he said, also sought photographs and video-recordings of these events as a proof of their compliance. "How can you send photographs and videos without holding events in schools," he asked, countering government's claim that these were online activities.
Government's reply is "incorrect" and "misleading", he said as several opposition raised slogans.
In his reply, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu instead charged opposition with "misleading" the nation and said it's a very sensitive issue.
As Naidu insisted that Christmas holiday will not be disturbed and quoted a circular to this effect, some opposition members accused the government of implementing Sangh Parivar agenda.
The minister then took a dig at the Gandhi family, saying "Family ka saath, desh ka vinash, Congress ka vinash (With family, destruction of country, destruction of Congress)".
This was vociferously opposed by Congress members.
"They attacked my family, I have attacked theirs. If they withdraw their words, I will mine," Naidu said.
He said government was observing 'Good Governance Day' as Vajpayee was born on Christmas day as there was no question of "disrespect" to the festival.
Shouting slogans against the government, Congress members walked out. They were joined by TMC, Left and NCP.