Opposition shifts blame for Parliament washout on govt

Opposition shifts blame for Parliament washout on govt

As Parliament's Budget Session draws to a close with a "washout" tag, Opposition parties on Wedneday tried to shift the blame on the Modi government for repeated disruptions and conveyed readiness to sit extra hours to discuss burning issues such as Cauvery water sharing and special status for Andhra Pradesh.

The ongoing session is slated to end on April 6.    

Leaders of 10 political parties held an impromptu press conference after a meeting of leaders as both Houses remained disrupted for 20 consecutive days due to protests. The government targeted the Opposition for holding Parliament to ransom.

"There are a huge number of issues which the entire Opposition has been wanting to discuss in both the Houses … we are not asking for the moon ... we are fighting for issues of the people," Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters here. He was flanked by Derek O'brien (TMC), T K Rangarajan (CPIM), D Raja (CPI), Majid Memon (NCP), among others.

The leaders later met Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to demand a discussion on important issues.

Session extension  

"We have no problem if the government decides to extend the Budget Session by two days. We don't mind sitting for extended hours. But important issues facing the nation must be discussed," Azad said.

The senior Congress leader also accused the Modi government of making no effort to restore normalcy in both Houses of Parliament.

"This is for the first time that no senior minister or cabinet minister has approached the Leader of the Opposition or Opposition party leaders," Azad said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal rejected the Opposition claim. He said the government was in regular touch with the Opposition leaders and accused them of being disinterested in smooth functioning of Parliament.

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