Government responsible for winter session washout: Congress

New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) The Congress on Wednesday accused the government for the winter session of parliament having been a washout and said the opposition was not taken onboard on many issues.

“The government’s attitude of intolerance, arrogance and mindset of confrontation with the opposition led to unprecedented bitterness in political discourse and vitiated the political atmosphere,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said at a press conference after both houses of parliament adjourned sine die after the winter session.

“It is wrong for the government to say that the session was a washout because of us… the government should own responsibility for running the house,” maintained Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha.

Kharge said the ruling alliance tried to “bulldoze” the opposition in the Lok Sabha, but since the government was in minority in the Rajya Sabha, the opposition stuck to their demands and thus the government placed the blame for the session- washout on the Congress.

Azad said the government’s “agenda to belittle the opposition, and unwarranted hurling of insults, has negated the possibility of any meaningful engagement between the government and the opposition and in the process undermined the smooth functioning of parliament”.

He said the government should come forward for consultations.

“The current impasse in the political discourse in the country is the failure of the BJP’s leadership in fulfilling its promises made to the people and inability to govern,” Azad said.

“The prime minister has an authoritarian style of functioning as has been revealed in the last 19 months, both in governance and in dealing with parliamentary business.

“The centralisation of decision-making, policies and all key appointments have adversely affected both the functioning and effectiveness of the government,” he said.

Azad also accused the government of indulging in “murder of democracy, federalism and the Constitution of India in Arunachal Pradesh”.

“The high office of the governor was used to try and dismiss a democratically elected Congress state government with the help of 11 BJP MLAs as against 47 of the Congress,” he said.

He also conceded that parliament could not function for a few days as his party demanded resignations of union Ministers Arun Jaitley and V.K. Singh, and chief ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje over different issues.

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