ALSO READModi is like Brahma, only he knows when Parliament will be summoned: Kharge Scrapped or late start? Oppn awaits winter session dates from Modi govt Uncertainty over winter session dates persists Opposition to petition President if govt announces truncated winter session Winter session in December, UPA too did in 2008, 2013: Ananth Kumar
The Congress and the BJP attacked each other over the winter session of Parliament with Prime Minister Narendra Modi being described as Lord Brahma, who kept to himself everything, even as the opposition party accused the government of trying to avoid being exposed over embarrassing issues ahead of the Gujarat elections.
However, the government rejected the charges outright and said a decision will be taken on convening the session in a day or two.
The day started with the Congress fielding a battery of its Parliamentary leaders to needle the government on the issue. Leader of the party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge likened Modi Lord Brahma, the creator, who only knew everything and others were in the dark.
Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kharge, along with other leaders, alleged that the government is delaying the winter session to avoid questions from the opposition on issues like unemployment, corruption, GST and allegations against Amit Shah's son Jay Shah, which could expose them in the Gujarat polls.
They said the party would convey to President Ram Nath Kovind its concerns over the delay.
Azad said: I have spoken to the Parliamentary Affairs Minister (Ananth Kumar) several times and asked him to tell us a date as to when the winter session is going to begin. But he had no clue since it was not confirmed by the PMO (Prime Minister's Office).
He also said the reasons why the government was not summoning the winter session was because they do not want to face the questions of unemployment, Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation and corruption.
"We wanted to ask the government about their formula of giving jobs and earning revenue where one can earn Rs 80 crore from Rs 15 lakh. If the BJP President (Amit Shah) has this formula for his company, then he should share it with the people of the country as well. That is the Gujarat model, said Azad referring to allegations against Jay Shah."
Azad attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his election campaigns saying: No PM in the past 70 years has campaigned from panchayat elections to parliament polls. He uses defence aircraft and helicopters for his visits. What is the cost of these visits? This is also a scam which will run into thousands of crores.
The central government has become an election machinery and the cabinet ministers are busy campaigning for elections all the time, he added.
His statement was a knee-jerk response. He should have checked the facts. He is factually wrong and we reject what he said that in 2011 a similar situation was there.
Kharge said: They do not want discussion in Parliament, so they are giving different excuses for delaying the winter session.
He said whatever was happening under the Narendra Modi government was an attack on democracy. He added that this year there had been only 38 sittings of the Lok Sabha -- the lowest in the past 70 years.
"Even ministers of this government and the Speaker do not know when the session will be convened. Only one person knows about it -- who is 'Brahma'... You cannot be whimsical in running a democracy," he said.
Justifying the delay in Winter Session, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: "It has been the established tradition of Indian politics to accommodate the dates between election campaign and session."
"Congress' love for parliament is a pleasant surprise. We all know about Rahul Gandhi's presence in parliament," he said.
On allegations by Azad that Modi uses Defence Ministry planes and helicopters for election campaigning, he said: "If Indira Gandhi uses defence planes or helicopters for election purposes, it's okay. Former Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh can use defence planes for five years and 10 years respectively but they have problems when Narendra Modi is using defence planes and helicopters for election purposes."
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said that the dates for the session would be decided soon.
"The CCPA (Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs) will meet in a couple of days and decide the dates," Kumar told reporters here, adding that the winter session of Parliament would be convened in December itself.