National

Government undermining Constitution: Congress

Former Union Minister Anand Sharma. File   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The Congress on Friday justified the Opposition’s boycott of the Constitution Day function in the Central Hall of Parliament by arguing that it was to protest against the “authoritarian” functioning of the Narendra Modi Government that enacts laws bypassing parliamentary scrutiny and “insults” parliamentary democracy.

Hitting back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his comment that family-run parties go against the spirit of democracy, Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said Mr. Modi should remember that he became Prime Minister in 2014 because democracy has been strengthened since 1947.

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“The Prime Minister should introspect.... He should not give sermons to other parties. It would be better if the Election Commission continues to do its work....Had democracy been in danger, had Constitution not been respected, Modi could not have become PM in 2014 through a free and fair election...[It was] only because democracy had thrived and flourished in India,” Mr. Sharma told reporters.

“The BJP had no role in the freedom struggle which Mahatma Gandhi had led. All leaders were Congressmen. The BJP is seeking out these leaders. They know their ancestors had no role in the freedom struggle. Rather, they were complicit with the British who crushed the freedom movement,” accused the former Union Minister.

The Congress leader said the boycott was to “remind” the country that “the Constitution” was being undermined every day under the present regime.

The Constitution Day event was reduced to a Government event and the Opposition leaders were invited to be “part of the audience and not participants”, he said.

Apart from the Congress, several other parties including the Left parties, Trinamool Congress, DMK, NCP, Shiv Sena, IUML, RSP and the RJD had skipped the event.

“Our protest today is based on fundamental principles. We have protested to remind the country that the Constitution is not being respected, the Constitution is being undermined, parliamentary democracy is being undermined and insulted with the enactment of laws bypassing scrutiny which is creating enormous problems, because each law enacted by Parliament impacts the masses,” Mr. Sharma said.

Ahead of the winter session of Parliament that gets under way next Monday, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has also convened a meeting on November 29 morning to coordinate joint strategy.

With the likelihood of the repeal of the farm laws being taken up on day one, the Congress has also issued a three-line whip for all its MPs to be present in both the Houses by Chief Whips K Suresh (Lok Sabha) and Jairam Ramesh (Rajya Sabha).


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 5:59:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-skipped-constitution-day-event-in-protest-against-authoritarian-functioning-of-bjp-govt-sharma/article37701360.ece

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