The Congress on Tuesday responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s advice to the Opposition, saying his words were most of the time not implemented by his own party leaders.
Stressing on the importance of an active opposition in democracy, Modi on Monday told them not to bother about their numbers and instead actively take part in the Lok Sabha’s proceedings.
Before taking oath as a member on the first day of the 17th Lok Sabha, Modi said the role of an “opposition and an active opposition is important in a parliamentary democracy”.
On Tuesday when former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi along with a host of senior party leaders met at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s residence to discuss the party’s strategy in Parliament during the Budget Session, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary said: “If the Prime Minister’s message is delivered to his ministers or juniors then it will be beneficial for all.
“What Prime Minister is preaching is most of the time not being implemented by their party leaders.”
The Congress meeting was the first one ahead of the crucial session and was attended also by Anand Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, K Suresh and Chaudhary.
As the leaders were expected to discuss the party’s stand on issues like ‘one nation, one election’, and triple talaq besides its Leader in the lower House, Chaudhary told the media: “Azadji briefed the party leaders in context to what Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has said and that has been conveyed to our CPP leader.”
He said Sonia Gandhi was apprised about the issues. Asked if the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha was discussed at the meeting, Chaudhary said, “No, Leader of Congress was not discussed.”
To a question if the issues like one nation, one election, triple talaq was discussed, he said it will be dealt when it comes up in Parliament.
On meeting with opposition leaders, he said, “Certainly… we have good relations with them so we will talk with them.”
Speaking about Modi’s remarks over numbers in the lower House, Chaudhary said, “It is the core essence of democracy. Democracy is not determined by numbers, it is determined by opinions, discussions.”
He also said that the issue of the Leader of Congress in the House is important and Sonia Gandhi, who was made the Congress Parliamentary Party leader for the second time, has also been given the task to select the leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha.
General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra though reached her mother’s residence just minutes after the key meeting ended.
Congress is the largest party in opposition, although it fell short of majority by two seats to get Leader of the Opposition post in the Lok Sabha.
The source said that as the Congress is biggest opposition in Lok Sabha big responsibility lies on the party to play a key role to provide a strong opposition on the floor of the House.
On Monday, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma had given a sense of party’s line – the government should end the ordinance culture and respect parliamentary process, important bills should be sent to Parliamentary Committees and then discussed in the house too, before being passed as laws.