New Delhi: The opposition's attacks on the government over a delay in the winter session of parliament today headlined sharp digs at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge dubbed him "Brahma the Creator", while Left leader Sitaram Yechury caustically referred to the "Gujarat model".
- Opposition attacked ruling government over delayed winter session
- Winter session of parliament usually begins in November
- Technically, the government has till February to call a session
"Modi is Brahma. He is the creator... only he knows when parliament will be convened," Mr Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, told reporters here. Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "destroying" the temple of democracy on account of the Gujarat election next month, he added: "His first step (after becoming prime minister) was to touch the floor of parliament, now he shows no respect for it."
CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said this is the "Gujarat model". The Gujarat assembly, he said, does not meet even one month a year. "The same model is being applied in Delhi," he charged.
Yesterday, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had said that PM Modi "lacked the courage to face parliament" and the government was sabotaging the session on "flimsy" grounds, to "escape constitutional accountability ahead of the assembly elections."
The winter session of parliament usually begins in November and ends after four weeks. Reports suggest that for the first time, it may not be called this year. PM Modi and other top ministers are busy with campaigning for polls in Gujarat on December 9 and 14, and the ruling BJP has reportedly discussed the possibility of calling the session only in January now. The budget is due in February.
Responding to the Congress president's barbs, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday asserted there was nothing unusual about sessions being deferred. "It has been a tradition and it has happened several times that parliament sessions are rescheduled when an election is happening," he said.
Technically, the government has till February to call a session - six months from August, when the monsoon session ended. Opposition parties allege that the government, in the middle of its election campaign, wants to avoid a combined attack in parliament on a range of subjects including the impact of demonetization and GST or Goods and Services Tax.