While raising Constitution to forehead, Modi forgot he 'violated' constitutional traditions: Kharge

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New Delhi, Jun 8 (PTI) In a scathing attack at Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday said that when he lifted the Constitution to his forehead at the NDA meeting, he forgot how he "violated" constitutional traditions and weakened Parliament in the last 10 years.

Addressing the Congress' Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting here, Kharge lauded CPP chairperson Sonia Gandhi for her "charismatic leadership" due to which, he said, the Congress got the benefit of good coordination with its allies.

Sonia Gandhi was unanimously re-elected as the chairperson of the CPP with a voice vote during its meeting.

"I thank the chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party, Sonia Gandhi ji, for her valuable guidance. While chairing the CPP, she led us in Parliament and as the party president for years," Kharge said.

"Due to Sonia ji's charismatic leadership, hard work and experience, we got the benefit of good coordination with the allies. A cordial atmosphere was created among the MPs of different parties to run the Parliament smoothly," the Congress chief said.

Kharge hailed the newly elected MPs of the Congress, saying they fought and won the elections in adverse circumstances.

"The ruling party closed the accounts of the Congress, many leaders were harassed through misuse of government institutions. Special congratulations for getting elected in such a situation," he said.

Modi, many ministers and BJP leaders spread "lies" about the Congress, Kharge said.

The Congress chief also alleged that through his speeches, Prime Minister Modi worked to "spread hatred" and divide voters.

Rahul Gandhi's historic "Bharat Jodo Yatra" and "Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra" gave new direction and strength to the election campaign of the Congress, he said.

Noting that no party got absolute majority in 2024, Kharge said the BJP sought votes in the name of one person and had one face. "But the mandate was against them," he added.

From the very beginning, the Congress took up the issues of threat to the Constitution and democracy, misuse of constitutional institutions, inflation, unemployment and plight of farmers and labourers, and the problems of the poor.

Advising the newly elected Congress MPs, Kharge said people of their respective areas have a lot of expectations from them, which they have to live up to.

"The responsibility that the public has given to the Congress party, you and we have to fulfil it. In the last 10 years, the rights of the opposition in Parliament have been continuously curtailed," he said.

"Modi ji does not want the opposition to raise public issues in the House. He considers it an insult to answer the opposition's questions," he said.

On Friday, when Modi lifted the Constitution to his forehead, he forgot how he has violated constitutional traditions in the last 10 years, Kharge said.

"He (Modi) has weakened the Parliament and constitutional institutions. He has insulted them," the Congress chief said.

On Friday, as soon as Modi entered the Central Hall (of the old Parliament building) for the NDA meeting, he bowed before a copy of the Constitution placed there, and lifted it to his forehead reverentially.

Kharge recalled that last time during the winter session, 146 MPs of opposition parties were suspended because they were demanding a discussion on the security of the Parliament complex.

"Dozens of important bills were passed without debate during the Modi government's time...Once again, we will raise the voice of the people with renewed strength," he said.

"We come to Parliament not for obstruction but for discussion and dialogue. We want positive intervention, but Modi ji creates a deadlock even while being in power," he said.

"This conspiracy of the government has been going on for 10 years. They themselves create a deadlock and try to make us guilty in the eyes of the public. Therefore, we have to be cautious of their tricks," Kharge told his party's MPs.

The last 17th Lok Sabha was the shortest Lok Sabha since 1952 in terms of sittings with only 274 meetings held in five years, Kharge said.

"Many people are also talking about Nehru ji these days, but I want to remind that during Nehru ji's era, 677 meetings were held in the first Lok Sabha, long discussions were held. There were 332 sittings in the Lok Sabha in UPA-1 and 356 sittings in UPA-2," Kharge said.

He urged the MPs to remain connected with the public.

"You should constantly pay attention to the people's difficulties and problems. Keep listening to them. Keep raising issues related to your area in Parliament. The work you do should reach the people of the area continuously. You always have to give top priority to the issues on which the Congress party fought the elections," Kharge said, advising the party's MPs.

"You have to keep telling the opponents again and again that political, economic and social justice are our permanent agenda," the Congress chief said.

The Congress MPs will raise the issue of the people and make the government accountable, he said. PTI ASK SKC ASK ANB ANB

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