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Congress ‘main culprit’ for Budget session washout: Ananth Kumar

IANS | New Delhi |

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar on Thursday accused the Congress of being the “main culprit” for the washout of the second half of the Budget session of Parliament and said it will hurt the opposition party badly in the Karnataka Assembly polls.

Talking to media persons here, Kumar said the Congress followed the “mysterious, unwise and strange” counsel from its President Rahul Gandhi after his return from Italy during the inter-session break.

“Because of him, the party adopted different strategies for the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Only Rahul Gandhi can think of this,” he said.

Kumar said the Congress is “extremely frustrated and intolerant” about the mandate was given by people to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and (present Prime Minister) Narendra Modi in 2014.

“They are intolerant because the BJP and its allies have come to power in 21 states. This is getting reflected in the logjam in both houses of Parliament.”

“The Congress is the main culprit. The entire blame is on the Congress. In a democracy do parties which don’t get majority have the mandate to stop Parliament’s functioning?” he asked.

The Minister said the Congress will have to explain to the people its conduct in Parliament. “We condemn this negative and intolerant politics of the Congress.”

He said the Congress earlier used to stage walkouts, but now the party members repeatedly come near the podiums of presiding officers.

“The entire country is watching Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, the Congress and their associates,” he said.

“This politics of the Congress is going to hurt them very badly in Karnataka,” he added.

He said the only major change in the Congress in the last two years has been elevation of Rahul Gandhi as President.

He accused the grand old party of changing its goalposts and becoming a “tail” of other parties.

Denying opposition’s claims about lack of reachout by the Modi government to end the Parliamentary stalemate, Kumar said he had talked to Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge. “We are regularly meeting the floor leaders of all parties,” he said.

Kumar said that the Congress was the last party to submit the notice of no-confidence motion against the government.

“The second half of the Budget session started on March 5 and the first notice of no-confidence was given by the YSR Congress. Then the Telugu Desam Party gave the notice,” he said, adding that notices had subsequently been given also by the RSP and the AIMIM.

The second half of the Budget session, that saw repeated disruptions by several parties including those considered friendly to the BJP, will end on April 6.