New Delhi: The Congress on Monday accused the government of behaving in a “dictatorial manner” to sabotage the passage of a private member’s bill on grant of special status to Andhra Pradesh fearing its “political and moral defeat”.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the party will continue to raise the demand for voting on the bill on Tuesday and in the subsequent days or till the government comes up with a bill of its own incorporating their demand.
The Rajya Sabha on Monday saw repeated adjournments amid uproar by Congress members seeking to put the bill to vote.
The Upper House failed to transact any legislative business in the post-lunch session.
“But the government, I must say, behaved in a brutally dictatorial manner on Friday afternoon and did something which no government has done. In my view, no government has done this in 64 years of the Rajya Sabha.
“The BJP was sure to suffer a political defeat if the private member’s bill was passed and to ensure that the bill was not passed, they used the Akali Dal to disrupt the functioning of Rajya Sabha,” he said.
Asserting that Congress will seek voting on the bill, he rejected the insinuation that the move was intended to scuttle the passage of the GST Bill, which has been pending in Parliament. “It is not intended to scuttle the GST Bill,” he said.
Ramesh said in his 12 years in Parliament, he has rarely seen a ruling party “disrupt” a private member’s bill. “It is extraordinary,” he said.
“This is a political defeat for the government. It is a psychological defeat. It is a moral defeat. By passing this bill does not mean that immediately what the bill says is going to be implemented,” he said.
Ramesh said one of the Congress members brought the bill on Friday and discussion on it had already taken place, but when the voting time came, the government deliberately created uproar in the House and proceedings were adjourned.
He claimed that all parties, including Samajwadi Party, Left parties and JD-U, are supporting the bill on Andhra Pradesh. Even TDP, which is part of NDA, is in its favour.
Questioning the government’s intent in granting special status to Andhra Pradesh and noting that it deliberately disrupted Parliament to stall it, Ramesh said, “The government’s intention is not there to implement the grant of special status to Andhra Pradesh. They should have done it as TDP is a supporting party of NDA.”