New Delhi, Nov 26: Congress leader Digivijay Singh's remark suggesting use of Marshals to ensure smooth running of Parliament has kicked up a political row with BJP seeking clarification from Congress President Sonia Gandhi and CPI terming it “authoritarianism”.
As the controversy picked up, Congress sought to distance from Singh's remarks, saying it does not consider it necessary to comment on each comment made by “any individual”.
“Another day wasted in Parliament. It hasn't used Institution of Marshals in Parliament since 2004 to make it function. High time they did!” Singh remarked on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
Reacting sharply to it, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar said, “We strongly condemn the statement of Digivijay Singh. This is highly undemocratic.
“We want to ask the UPA chairperson if the Government wants to run Parliament by force. Sonia Gandhi should clarify whether she agrees with Singh's statement or take action action against him.”
CPI leader D Raja said, “What does he (Singh) mean by this comment? Does he want to throw out Parliamentarians and then run the House? Then what is the meaning of democracy? He, himself had been Chief Minister of a prominent state and must know how legislative bodies function. Is he the only person concerned about the running of Parliament?
“We also want to run Parliament but that does not mean the Opposition should keep quiet about whatever Government does...this is nothing but authoritarianism.”
Asked about the controversy over Singh's remarks and whether Congress agrees with the party general secretary's contention, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, “We are not obliged either to comment on each comment made by any one on Twitter or to obey BJP's command requiring us to react on such comments.”
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had yesterday refused to comment on the issue. “I cannot comment on it. It is the prerogative of the Presiding Officers” but added he was saddened over the repeated disruptions in Parliament.
Singh's tweet had come on a day when the first week of Winter Session was completely washed out due to frequent interruptions on a variety of issues ranging from price rise and corruption to FDI in retail.
Javdekar, however, justified his party giving the adjournment motion on black money, saying it was given under rules and targeted the government for not being able to reach out even to its ally in backdrop of the strong opposition to FDI by DMK and Trinamool Congress.
“In a democracy, Parliament will not be run by force but through debates. Congress cannot even reach out to its allies on issues much less the Opposition. Congress is fully responsible for the disruptions and adjournments,” he said accusing the ruling party of “running away from debating the issue.”