NDA to target Congress, Left MPs on Parliament disruptionNew Delhi: The bitter confrontation between the BJP and Congress that was witnessed in the virtually washed-out monsoon session of Parliament will now play out across the country with the NDA deciding to take out
New Delhi: The bitter confrontation between the BJP and Congress that was witnessed in the virtually washed-out monsoon session of Parliament will now play out across the country with the NDA deciding to take out marches and hold meetings immediately in the constituencies of Congress and Left MPs.
Shortly after the session was adjourned sine die, the two sides indulged in a blame game over stalling of Parliament over Lalitgate and Vyapam scams and took to protests in the Parliament House complex.
After the pep talk by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior ministers and MPs of the NDA, including L K Advani, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh and Ram Vilas Paswan, marched from Vijay Chowk to the Gandhi statue inside the premises shouting slogans and carrying placards against the Congress.
At a meeting of the NDA MPs, Modi asked them to fan across the country to expose the Congress, equating the disruption with Emergency when Congress wanted power to be concentrated in one family.
"We accept this undemocratic challenge by the Congress and will take it to the people. Our people will go to every nook and corner to expose the Congress, which is trying to stop the growth of the country.
"Congress party wants to save the family, while BJP wants to save the country as it is our principle," he said addressing a meeting of the NDA Parliamentary Party.
Modi asked NDA MPs and ministers to hold protests across the country, especially targeting constituencies represented by Congress and Left MPs, during a month-long campaign.
Unfazed by the BJP offensive on his family in Parliament, Rahul Gandhi attacked the PM, saying he lacked guts and challenged him to bring back to India former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi who he described as the "biggest link" between the political system and black money.
Keeping up the pressure on the issue of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's help to London-based Modi to obtain British travel documents, the Congress Vice President said that she had given "long statements" in the Lok Sabha yesterday but had not answered why she had helped the fugitive wanted in India by enforcement agencies.
Dismissing Swaraj's charge against his late father Rajiv Gandhi in the Bofors case, Rahul told reporters that his name had been cleared by the judicial system in the but the matter had been going on for 30 years with the opposition keeping on attacking him.
He said such such charges made no difference to him as the judicial system in the country gave a statement that this was a campaign against Rajiv Gandhi and that there was nothing in this.
Rahul said he would "defend" the country from the RSS and Narendra Modi, reminding journalists that three TV channels had been issued notices by the government recently.
"It(Swaraj attack) makes no difference to me. I am here to defend the country from the RSS and (Narendra) Modi," he said, adding, "When your(media) views clash with their (government) views, your mikes will be shut."
Alleging that Swaraj and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had defended "black money network" in Parliament yesterday, Rahul charged that Lalit Modi was the "biggest link" between the political system and black money.
Daring the prime minister to catch hold Lalit Modi and bring him back to India, Rahul said that, "we have understood that this prime minister gets scared and we will keep attacking and build so much pressure on the prime minister that Lalit Modi will come back."
At a press conference in the AICC, former finance minister P Chidambaram said the party would persist with raising questions on the Lalit Modi controversy as government has 'failed' to respond on key issues.
The party also demanded unqualified apology from Swaraj for allegations against Rajiv Gandhi during yesterday's debate in the Lok Sabha and approached the Speaker to seek expunction of the charges against the former Prime Minister Announcing the NDA campaign in the constituencies of 44 Congress and 9 Left MPs, Jaitley said one Union Minister and 4 MPs will hold public meetings and events in their seats.
As part of the campaign, he said awareness will be raised nation wide against both the parties, whom he described as key actors in the disruption.
Jaitley said the government was hopeful that the hostility of public opinion will make them wiser and force them to help in the passage of the GST bill and other legislations.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) met today and decided not to prorogue the session, a move that gives the government the flexibility to convene Parliament at a short notice.
Jaitley said various options were open to the government for ensuring the passage of the GST and other bills but refused to disclose the strategy.
He also maintained that as numbers stood today, they were loaded in favour of the GST bill as the Left parties, which had given a notional dissent, had supported it in the Lok Sabha. Almost all regional parties are supporting it.
On the Congress side, former finance minister Chidambaram said the government must address the three fundamental and other issues the party had raised in relation to the GST if it hopes to get Congress support.