The Congress on Wednesday accused the Modi government of following double standards and demanded the suspension of BJP member Anurag Thakur from the Lok Sabha for filming proceedings of the House on his phone.
Addressing a press conference here, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that the BJP government was preventing the Lok Sabha from debating issues facing the country.
“The government has adopted a fascist approach and a dictatorial agenda,” Kharge said.
Posing questions to the government, the Congress leader alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government were running away from “debate and responsibility” to the Parliament.
He accused the government of “double standards”, saying that six Congress members had been suspended from the House but Thakur had been let off with a warning.
“Why are two yardsticks being applied,” he asked.
Kharge accused the government of having exerted pressure on Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to take action against the Congress MPs.
On Monday, six Congress MPs – Gaurav Gogoi, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Ranjit Ranjan, Sushmita Dev, M.K. Raghavan and K. Suresh were suspended for five sittings of the House after they tore and threw papers in the House as well as towards the Speaker’s podium.
Kharge said it was the third day since the members had been suspended and “such a big punishment had not been given earlier”.
“Anurag Thakur is excused after a warning. Our members are suspended. The government is exerting pressure. We are not afraid of its dictatorial attitude,” he said and added that the Congress will “insist on suspending (Thakur) from the House”.
The six Congress MPs were also present with Kharge at the press conference.
The Congress leader said the party members wanted to raise the issue of “injustice” to Dalits, minorities, weaker sections, “mob frenzy” and issues concerning farmers but the party’s adjournment motion notices were not accepted.
“The whole country is debating these issues. We were told these will be discussed later. We were ready for discussion in any form,” Kharge said.
The Congress leader said the members who were seeking to raise the issues vociferously were suspended.
Kharge also alleged that the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar and BJP members “get full time to speak” but not them.
Asked if he was questioning the ruling of the Speaker, Kharge said they respect her but stressed that the government was exerting pressure.
Attacking Modi, Kharge said he had chosen to speak on cow vigilantism outside but not inside Parliament.
“He chooses to speak to captive audiences in BJP rallies but misses every opportunity (in the House) for a meaningful debate to answer questions,” Kharge said.