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Character of House has changed, BJP won't be able to steamroll: Owaisi in Lok Sabha

Congratulating Om Birla on being elected Speaker for the second term, he said the smaller parties should be heard in the House as they too represent the people.
Last Updated : 26 June 2024, 12:41 IST

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New Delhi: AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi said on Wednesday that the ruing BJP will not be able to "steamroll" the opposition as the character of the House has changed in new Lok Sabha.

Congratulating Om Birla on being elected Speaker for the second term, he said the smaller parties should be heard in the House as they too represent the people.

"You are the custodian of the House. The reality is that the majority enjoys the numerical strength but it does not have the strength per se.

"Here the opposition also has the support of the people. I urge you to give chance to smaller parties also... The character of this House has changed. The BJP will not be able to steamroll," Owaisi said.

Speaking on the occasion, National Conference member Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi said today onwards Birla does not belong to any party and his only party is the Constitution of India.

"It is a request to you that from today you are neither the BJP, Congress nor Samajwadi. From today your party is just one -- the Constitution of India -- and you will be its custodian," he said.

Mehdi said Birla will be remembered whether he allows only the treasury benches to put across their views or lets the opposition also to have a say.

"This House which is known as the biggest institution of democracy... you will be remembered for how you forced the treasury benches to listen to the opposition or you silenced the opposition. You will not be remembered for P-20 (Parliament 20 Summit, part of the larger G20 event)," he said.

Mehdi also lamented that it was in this House only during the 17th Lok Sabha that a Muslim MP was called a "terrorist".

"You will be remembered for how a Muslim MP was called a terrorist in this House... just because he is a Muslim... whether you allowed such voices to be silenced or to be raised.

"The MP, who is an elected nominee, if he can be called a terrorist in the House, Muslims can be called terrorists on streets too. You should have set an example here as you were the custodian," he said.

The Speaker reminded Mehdi that it was the first day of the House and he should choose his words carefully.

Birla also rejected his claims that the bill, which abrogated portions of Article 370, was passed in a hurry.

The Speaker said over nine hours of discussion had taken place before the bill was passed by the Lower House. Birla noted that the NC MP perhaps lacked details of the proceedings on that day.

Shiromani Akali Dal's sole MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal was asked by the Chair not to deliver lectures on the first day of the House, when she claimed that some parties who fight it out in the states are seen joining hands at the national level.

When Kaur said the smaller parties should be given more opportunities, Birla wondered whether the four-time MP was not given opportunities to raise issues in the past.

"I worry that few parties who keep opposite views in the states and are at loggerheads, join hands at the national level... We expect that the small parties are seen with the same view as the bigger parties and principles of democracy are upheld," the Bathinda MP said.

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Published 26 June 2024, 12:41 IST

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