BJP holds Congress solely responsible for fracas in Parliament

Holding Congress solely responsible for the "disgraceful" pepper spraying incident in Lok Sabha, BJP on Thursday said it was a "drama" enacted by the ruling party.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 13, 2014, 23:28 PM IST

New Delhi: Holding Congress solely responsible for the "disgraceful" pepper spraying incident in Lok Sabha, BJP on Thursday said it was a "drama" enacted by the ruling party that gave a bad name to Indian democracy and vowed not to engage with the government on any issue.

The principal Opposition party rejected government`s contention that the controversial Telangana Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha, saying Parliamentary procedures were not followed.

Terming today`s events as a "theatre of the absurd", it also accused the Congress leadership of having lost control over its members saying the incident could have been avoided.
Dubbing the incident as "disgraceful" and "sad" for Parliament, senior BJP leader L K Advani attacked the government, saying it was hell-bent on getting the bill passed anyhow even if it means suspension or expulsion of members.

"Whatever has happened in Parliament is not just unfortunate but also shameful... For this, the Congress party is solely responsible. It is a drama enacted by the Congress.

"... We had not imagined that they will introduce the bill in such a way... We have decided we will not talk to government on anything at all," Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.

Her counterpart in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, "What has happened in Parliament has brought a bad name to Indian democracy... The Congress alone is responsible for this."
Training his guns on the Congress leadership, Jaitley said as it has lost control over its members, they are out to create unpleasant scenes in the House. "The worst of what has happened today is by Congress members," he said.

On whatever happened, Swaraj said it has crossed all limits. "It now seems that all that has happened is part of the design because Congress wanted to create pandemonium and commotion so that all members leave the Lok Sabha and then they could do a make-believe introduction of Telangana Bill."

Swaraj also contested government`s claims that the bill
was introduced in the House amid pandemonium, saying there was no supplementary agenda given to her or listed in the business of the House.

"As long as I was inside the House, not even an `I` of the Bill was read. I don`t know when was the bill introduced," she said.
Claiming that according to Parliamentary traditions the papers are laid on the table of the House and then only legislative business is taken up, Swaraj said no such thing was done today.

"The decency and decorum of Parliament and its traditions have been broken today," she said.

Advani said government looks hell-bent on getting the Telangana Bill passed by resorting to suspensions and removing people.

"This is no way of getting the bill passed... Government wants to pass the bill anyhow... Be it in din or by expelling or suspending members.

"In such chaotic conditions, government should do nothing except for bringing a vote-on-account," he said.

BJP leader Jaswant Singh also termed the incident as a "disgrace" on democracy.

Jaitley said the incident in Lok Sabha is a "serious blow" to India`s parliamentary democracy as dangerous and prohibited devices were used to block the proceedings.

He said the present crisis is directly on account of UPA`s failure on the issue of creation of Telangana while simultaneously addressing legitimate concerns of people there.
"It is Congress and Congress alone which must take the responsibility for completely mishandling the situation. Today`s theatre of the absurd could have been avoided only if the Congress leadership had done adequate home work and was able to control its own members," he said.

The weakness of Indian democracy has come to the fore after today`s incident and has given a bad name to democracy for which Congress is fully responsible, he said.