Hitting back at the eight Central ministers, who on Thursday held a joint press conference and accused the Congress-led Opposition of 'not letting the Parliament run and hence bringing an abrupt end to the Monsoon Session, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien pitched eight questions to the ministers ganging up against the Opposition. He even termed the presser as a 'faff.'
Putting the blame on the Opposition for unruly scenes witnessed during the monsoon session of Parliament, a group of union ministers on Thursday said Rajya Sabha Chairman must take the strongest possible action against those who broke the rules.
Refuting all the allegations of the Centre, Brien asked eight questions to the ministers which included matters like Pegasus controversy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi absence during the OBC debate in Parliament.
Brien posted a video message on Twitter and wrote, "8 Ministers just addressed a press conference. To them, we ask. Answer even one of these 8 questions. Try. Then talk to us about #Parliament. The United Opposition have a strong case. You are full of faff."
"Why was the Prime Minister missing during the OBC debate in parliament? The former Prime Ministers Deve Gowda ji and Manmohan Singh ji were there. Where was Prime Minister Modi?" the Trinamool MP said.
"Why were 38 bills passed in both houses with an average discussion time of 10 minutes per bill? Why has only one out of 10 bills gone from the Lok Sabha for parliamentary scrutiny? Why are almost 4 bills out of every 10 bills are ordinances? Earlier it was one or two," he said.
"Why has the Prime Minister of India not answered a single question in the Rajya Sabha in the last five years? Manmohan Singh ji answered 22 questions. Why in two years, the government hasn't elected a Deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha?" O'Brien asked.
"Why did you not allow the opposition a discussion on Pegasus, internal security, repeal of farm laws. Government must have its way, the opposition must have its say. Whose business is it to run parliament? Is it the government's responsibility or the opposition's responsibility? And who is the government accountable to? The people," he added.
Presenting a united face of Opposition, RJD MP Manoj Kumar Jha also posted these eight questions in Hindi.
On Thursday, the ministers said the opposition must apologise for "disruptive (and) threatening behaviour" that forced Parliament to close two days early, as they countered allegations "outsiders not part of Parliament security were brought in to manhandle opposition MPs, including women".
"We had to take a decision to end the monsoon session early because, and I am quoting the opposition, (they were) literally threatening that if we attempt to pass other bills (after the OBC and Insurance bills) there will be even more serious damage in Parliament," Pralhad Joshi, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, said.
The tumultuous Monsoon session of Parliament was on Wednesday curtailed by two days. Leaders of several opposition parties on Thursday marched in protest against the government on several issues, including Pegasus, farm laws, and alleged manhandling of their MPs in Rajya Sabha, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi saying the voice of people was crushed in Parliament and democracy was "murdered".