BJP, Opp parties trade charges in Lok Sabha

| | New Delhi

Lok Sabha on Tuesday witnessed trading of charges between the ruling BJP and Opposition parties during the debate on the Motion of Thanks for the President's address.

Leading the Opposition, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge charged the  Government with total failure to deliver on many fronts and increasing the hardships of  the people. On the other hand, BJP MPs Rakesh Singh and  accused the Congress-led Opposition of  misleading the nation and  insulting the common man.

The Government also came under attack from  NDA ally  TDP,  and  Shiv Sena. Accusing the Government of  trying to sideline the "good work" done by Congress party over the last 70 years, Kharge said the ruling party could not even understand in the last four years what the Congress has done in the past. He said while demonetisation has led to job losses, high Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate has caused hardship to the people.

"When we said that the way GST is being implemented is wrong, they didn't accept it. Before Gujarat elections, they reduced GST rate in 200 items," Kharge said.

Noting that UPA Government had announced Rs 72,000 crore farm loan waiver, Kharge demanded that the Narendra Modi Government should also announce such waiver to help farmers.

"You waive loans worth Rs 1.10 lakh crore of big people, but not for farmers. We demand that farm loans should be waived," he said. Attacking Modi for his Pakistan policy, Kharge said the neighbouring

country has been killing the jawans and sought to know from the Prime Minister how he planned to deal with the neighbouring country.

"Where is the 56 inch chest?. You speak a lot when you abroad, but in Parliament you don't," Kharge said referring to Modi. Kharge said the National Health Protection Scheme announced in the Budget was an "election stunt" and it cannot be implemented with just Rs 2,000 crore outlay.

BJP's Prahalad Joshi, who seconded the motion after his party colleague Rakesh Singh moved it and initiated the debate, referred to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram's jibe at Modi and said "you (Congress) insulted Modiji who used to sell tea (during his childhood). Now you are insulting pakoda walas."

Earlier,  Rakesh Singh spoke about the achievements of the Government in various fields, particularly in implementing the 'Swachh Bharat' (Clean India) campaign.

"For our Government, every section, every religion is equal. We consider the opposition also to be part of the development process," he said. Singh said the Government has been ensuring welfare of all sections irrespective of their religion, caste and creed.

Singh attacked the Congress and the other opposition parties for blocking the OBC Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The newly amended OBC Bill was again introduced in the Lok Sabha in the winter session which ended last month. He lauded the Government for providing insurance to over 31 crore people through Pradhan Mantri Bima Yojana, ensuring electricity supply to villages through the Ujjwala Yojana and giving soil health cards to farmers.

Singh also made a case for abolishing of instant triple talaq and supported the idea of simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and state assemblies. Later BJD's Bhartruhari Mahtab criticized the BJP for the harsh punishments in the Triple Talq Bill.

He said marriages and disputes are not meant to put people in jail. In a veiled attack on Prime Minister Modi, the BJD member also pointed out that "Republics will wither when statesmanship turn to showmanship".

TMC leader Kalyan Banerjee slammed  West Bengal Governor for trying to scuttle Chief Minister Mamata  Banerjee's administration. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar objected to Banerjee's attack on Governor in Parliament.

The TMC leader also said that Prime Minister's suggestion for conducting the elections of states and Centre on same was not at all practical idea. "Let them conduct with Uttar Pradesh and Centre in 2019. Let charity start from BJP states," said Banerjee. 



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