New Delhi: Opposition today attacked the government over its decision to extend the Lok Sabha session for three days and termed the move “dictatorial”, with many members objecting to the news being reported in the media even when the House was unaware of it.
Government rejected the criticism saying the decision follows similar precedents, but acknowledged that leaders of some parties could not be informed yesterday as the Rajya Sabha worked till late evening and many ministers, including Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, were busy there.
Congress, the Left and TMC members were most vociferous in their protests and Lok Sabha was adjourned thrice as their members trooped into the Well time and again to protest the manner in which the decision was taken.
Raising slogans like ‘tanashahi nahin chalegi' (dictatorship will not be tolerated) and ‘Modi sarkar jawab do' (Modi govt explain), the opposition members said they were not consulted on the matter.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan ruled that the House had been extended till May 13 after the Business Advisory Committee today approved the decision taken by the government yesterday.
She also allowed the opposition members to raise the issue in the Zero Hour.
“It's a unilateral decision. The House was not taken into confidence, nor was the opposition. They (govt) take a decision and impose it on the BAC. This is dictatorship. This dictatorship will not be allowed in a democracy,” Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said as he raised the matter.
Attacking the government for creating an impression that the opposition was causing obstruction and not interested in running the House, he said they have been cooperative and therefore many bills could be passed during the session.
Questioning why the Modi government took the decision to extend the House at the last minute when it was aware about the business it needed to transact, Kharge said “the consent of the House was not taken... You (Speaker) don't know, we don't know, but the press knows it.”