Kharge accuses BJP of trying to threaten opposition, vows INDIA will keep on fighting

New Delhi : Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress National President Mallikarjun Kharge addresses media at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi on Tuesday, August 01, 2023. (Photo:IANS)

New Delhi : Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress National President Mallikarjun Kharge addresses media at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi on Tuesday, August 01, 2023. (Photo:IANS)

New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) Congress president and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday hit back at the BJP-led central government accusing it of trying to threaten and intimidate the opposition parties, saying INDIA will keep on fighting to save democracy and the Constitution.

Addressing the media outside at Vijay Chowk (near Parliament House), Kharge alleged that he was being insulted in Parliament, as he was not allowed to speak, despite being the LoP in Rajya Sabha.

The Congress president said, “INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) will not be intimidated and it was not constituted to run away.”

Hitting out at the BJP government, Kharge said, “The government was resorting to dictatorship, but no matter how much injustice the government does with them (the opposition), we will keep on fighting against them, and we will defeat them in 2024.”

“We will continue to work for the public interest and lay down whatever sacrifices are required of us to save the democracy and the constitution”, he said, adding that he was being insulted as he was not allowed to speak in the Rajya Sabha.

He pointed out that a record number of 65 members of the Rajya Sabha had sought discussion under rule 267.

He said that this was for the first time that so many members had sought suspension of business, to discuss Manipur violence, since it was not an ordinary incident.

He also highlighted that about hundreds of people had died, while 5,000 others were injured and 60,000 families had to leave their homes.

Referring to the viral of two Manipur women being paraded naked by a mob in Manipur, Kharge said that women are being paraded naked and people are being killed and despite that the government is not ready for discussion.

“The Prime Minister is running away from debate,” the Congress leader said.

Slamming the Prime Minister, Kharge said that Modi had all the time to campaign in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

“Even today, the Prime Minister is in Pune. What was the urgency? Wherever he (Modi) goes he maligns the opposition leaders,” he said.

Kharge appealed the Prime Minister to say whatever he wants to say, but he needs to speak in the Parliament.

“Let him come to the parliament and make the statement, and we will listen to it and answer all your questions,” Kharge told the Prime Minister.

He also asserted that Union Home Minister Amit Shah cannot substitute for the Prime Minister.

“HM has certain limitations while the PM has access to all sorts of information and feedback, which the Home Minister does not have,” he said.

He said that the only the PM was in a better position to make a statement on such an issue like Manipur.

He also cited several past precedents when the question hour was suspended and important issues discussed and even the Prime Minister spoke.

He said that in August 2012, question hour was suspended after the then BJP member M. Venkaiah Naidu raised the matter of attacks on migrants from the North-East in different parts of the country.

He said the matter was discussed and the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh made a statement in the parliament on the issue.

Taking a dig at the government’s claims that it treated everyone at par, he pointed out, he was not even allowed to speak and whenever he rose to speak, the mike was switched off within ten seconds. He said it was an insult to him.

“Is this the democracy?” he asked, while remarking, “this is dictatorship and this is Hitler-Shahi”.

The Congress President also said that a senior Rajya Sabha MP Rajani Patil was suspended in the last session and her suspension was still not revoked although another session had started.

Similarly when another RS member Sanjay Singh wanted to raise the matter under rules, he was also suspended for one full session, Kharge added.