Targeting Congress for stalling proceedings in Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused it of trying to destroy the institution and asked the principal opposition party and others to make a New Year resolution not to disturb the two Houses.
“Those who have enjoyed power for 60 years have no right to destroy Parliament, they have no right to stop the functioning of parliament,” the PM said adding that he can understand the anger and frustration of those against government who have not been in power. He was speaking after launching a project to widen National Highway 24.
Modi, who was addressing a well-attended rally, did not name Congress but there were scarcely any doubt who he was referring to. The PM said the party that has ruled for 50-60 years and has given a dozen of PMs is expected to know better about governance, role of Parliament and its functioning. “They have a greater responsibility to ensure that their own political reasons should not come in the way of the country’s development,” he said.
Congress stopped the Rajya Sabha from functioning during the just-concluded winter session by launching protests over the summons issued by a Delhi court to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul and towards the end on other issues.
Referring to his government’s decision (which kicks in from Friday) to abolish interviews for class III and Class -IV jobs in government as “gift to the youth” as it would help eliminate corruption in recruitment, Modi said the priority of the government is to work for people who voted it to power.
He appealed to the state governments to do this as well. He said BJP was not able to fulfill many of obligations because of resistance to its effort to pass major legislations such as the one related to Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Rajya Sabha where Congress has more members than BJP.
“It is unfortunate in this country that our Parliament where laws are made is not being allowed to run…Those rejected by the people have held Parliament to ransom. They don’t let it function. We may not be allowed to speak in Lok Sabha but I want to say this in a Jan Sabha that we have been sent to Parliament to debate and discuss and decide after discussion,” the PM said.
In his special appeal to Uttar Pradesh government, Modi appealed to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to abolish the practice of interviews for lower-level jobs because it will promote merit and eliminate corruption.
The PM also said the government is taking steps for inter-linking of rivers so that farmers don’t suffer for want of rain. Reaching out to the sugarcane growing farmers of Western UP, Modi appealed to the sugar manufacturers to shift to producing more ethanol since global prices of the sweetner had fallen.