Oppn creating negative narrative about Naidu: Centre

Centre accuses Opposition of creating negative narrative about Naidu

Joshi singled out Jairam Ramesh and charged him along with the Oppn for casting aspersions on the functioning of the Chairman

Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi. Credit: PTI Photo

Centre on Friday accused the Opposition of creating a negative narrative about Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu over the stalemate on suspension of 12 MPs, alleging that such acts do a "disfavour not only to the truth but to democracy itself".

The statement issued by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi singled out Congress Chief Whip Jairam Ramesh and charged him along with the Opposition for casting aspersions on the functioning of the Chairman. 

Ramesh hit back and said he hoped the mention of his name in Joshi's "statement defending an unconstitutional and illegal suspension" of 12 MPs was not a prelude" to his suspension in the Budget Session. 

"This regime is capable of anything and most of all is simply not interested in any meaningful discussion on pressing national issues. And as far as Shri Joshi's accusation is concerned I have always believed respect has to be commanded, not demanded," Ramesh said. 

The war of words came a day after Rajya Sabha Secretariat responded to Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge's charge that enough actions were not taken by government to resolve the stalemate and that the Chairman did not allow him to raise issues, saying shifting positions of Opposition resulted in the continuation of the stalemate.

Ramesh responded to the Rajya Sabha statement saying that Naidu should call meetings like the Chairman and not as former BJP president.  In the latest statement, Joshi said that it was "both astonishing and saddening" that that senior Opposition leaders "deviated from the well-known truth about what transpired".  

"The Opposition appeared committed to hampering the running of the house. The public of our country and even history is witness to the level of noise and indiscipline the Opposition has made a kind of practice to bring to the sittings of the House," Joshi said.

"In fact, the Opposition appears to use every means to not let the house proceedings carry on. It was painful when some members of the Opposition reduced the temple of democracy to a theatre of street fight," he said. 

The minister said the Chairman was "deeply pained" and reached out to the Opposition to break the logjam but the Opposition "came back in multiple voices which were unclear and contradictory at the same time". 

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