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Hitting back at PM Modi, Kharge says most disruptions in Parliament when BJP was in opposition

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) The Congress on Wednesday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for accusing the opposition of causing disruptions in Parliament and said it is the BJP that indulged in "disrobing" of Parliament and posed a threat to democracy in the country.

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Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said data from the past two decades show that most interruptions in Parliament occurred during the 15th Lok Sabha (2009-2014) when the BJP was the principal opposition party.

"So it is the BJP which has indulged in 'cheerharan' (disrobing) of Parliament, and not the Opposition. Democracy is in danger: Courtesy BJP," he alleged.

Kharge alleged that the "autocratic" BJP government was corroding parliamentary democracy, violating the Constitution and "strangulating" the voice of the opposition.

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He said as many as 14 bills were passed in merely three days after the unprecedented step of suspending 146 MPs in both houses.

The Congress chief claimed 64 bills out of 172 have been passed in the current Lok Sabha with less than one hour of discussion and as many as 61 bills passed in Rajya Sabha with less than one hour of discussion during the same tenure.

"Pradhan Mantri ji made a statement outside the Parliament. We want to remind him how his government is responsible for corroding Parliamentary democracy. In the last session of Parliament, as many as 14 Bills were passed in just three days, by suspending an unprecedented 146 MPs from both Houses," he said in a statement.

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"The current Lok Sabha will finish its five-year term without a Deputy Speaker, a position conventionally reserved for an opposition member. This shows how an autocratic Modi Government is violating the Constitution, and strangulating the voice of the Opposition," he alleged.

The 17th Lok Sabha, which is set to conclude on February 9, would have sat for the least number of days for all Lok Sabha that completed their full five-year terms, he said.

"This points out how the Modi Government is hell-bent on subverting Parliamentary democracy," Kharge also said.

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"For all the claims made by PM of passing a record number of Bills. In his first term, 179 Bills were passed by both Houses and in his second term 213 Bills were passed, which are lesser than 297 Bills passed under UPA-1 and 248 Bills passed under UPA-2, despite widespread disruption by BJP," he said.

Ahead of Parliament's last session before the general elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Wednesday that the country is touching new heights of progress and its journey of "all-inclusive and all-round" development will continue with people's blessings.

The prime minister also targeted the opposition MPs for frequent disruption of Parliamentary proceedings, saying those habituated to creating a ruckus and disrobing democratic values should introspect as they meet in the last session before the polls.

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If these MPs enquire in even their own Parliamentary constituencies, they will find that no one remembers those behind such ruckus and disruptions, Modi said.

But those who benefited Parliament with their superb ideas, even if they were sharply critical in their views, are remembered by a very big section of people, he said.

Modi said he believed that a big section of the country's democracy-loving people would appreciate the conduct of those MPs who used their wisdom and talent and showed their concern for the masses, even though they might have been critical in their views. PTI SKC RT

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