oi-Ajay Joseph Raj P
New Delhi, Aug 05: The government is trying to “muzzle” the opposition’s voice, but it will not be cowed down and will keep fighting to raise people’s issues, including farmers’ problems and the Pegasus snooping matter, the Congress said on Thursday.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said that Parliament proceedings are being disrupted over the Pegasus issue as the government is shying away from a discussion on it.
“If attempts are made to crush and muzzle our issues by targeting us, using threats, fear or pressurising us, the Congress and a united opposition are not going to budge and will keep fighting,” Kharge told reporters.
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His remarks came after a Parliament security officer complained against a Trinamool Congress (TMC) member for creating ruckus in the House Chamber after Rajya Sabha was adjourned.
The opposition is demanding a discussion on the Pegasus issue because it impinges on national security, and citizens’ freedom and privacy. Media, armed forces and judges have been named as potential targets, Kharge claimed.
“Revelations are being made one after the other. Why is the government running away? They are saying the opposition is not ready and therefore, a discussion is not happening,” he said. Has any notice been received from the government for a discussion or has anyone sought to reach out to the opposition over the Pegasus issue, the Congress leader asked.
Kharge said that the government is saying the opposition does not want to speak on farmers’ problems and inflation, among other issues, but when 10 Bills are passed in one hour “you know well of their (government’s) intentions”.
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He also claimed that the BJP caused over 90 per cent disruption when it was in the opposition during the UPA regime. “They are telling us, opposition is not letting the House run and not cooperating,” Kharge said.
On the Pegasus spyware snooping issue, Kharge said the entire world is probing it, including France, Hungary and Bulgaria, but India is not. “Why are you afraid of discussions,” he said targeting the Centre.
Kharge claimed that in the last 10 years, at least 10 times Rule 267 was used to discuss issues including inflation, foreign direct investment, farmers’ suicide and agrarian crisis, Kashmir and demonetisation.
A notice under Rule 267 calls for setting aside of the business of the day to take up discussion on the issue being raised. The opposition leader said the precedent is there for discussions and yet a debate on the Pegasus issue is not being allowed. He said no leader from the government has come to speak to the opposition and the informal talks do not mean much.