Logjam continues in Parliament as Opposition hardens stand on Pegasus row
 

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: With both the Houses of parliament witnessing disruptions, the Opposition Wednesday toughened its stand and issued a joint statement blaming government for being arrogant and obdurate over refusal to accept the Opposition’s demand for an informed debate on Pegasus in both the Houses.

In a joint statement issued by the Opposition and signed by floor leaders of 14 parties, they said that the Opposition stands firm and united on their demand for a discussion on the Pegasus issue in both the Houses, replied to by the Home Minister, as this has been national security dimensions.

The Opposition has also unequivocally conveyed that the discussion on the farmers’ issues and agitations arising from the three “anti-farmers and black” agri-laws should follow the discussion on Pegasus. The statement has been signed by 14 opposition parties. AAP, which skipped the opposition breakfast meeting Tuesday, was also part of the statement.

“It is unfortunate that the government has unleashed a misleading campaign to malign the combined opposition and blame it for the continued disruption in the Parliament. The responsibility for the deadlock lies squarely at the doorsteps of the government, which remains arrogant and obdurate and refuses to accept the Opposition’s demand for an informed debate in both the Houses. The opposition once again urges the government to respect parliamentary democracy and accept the discussion,” the statement said.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu held a meeting with leaders from the opposition and treasury benches to end the stalemate and said that all issues can be taken up for discussion after an agreement between the two sides.

As the uproar continued in the upper House, Naidu ordered six TMC MPs to withdraw from the House for the day. The MPs — Dola Sen, Nadimul Haque, Abir Ranjan Biswas, Shanta Chhetri, Arpita Ghosh, and Mausam Noor — had displayed placards in the well of the chamber disobeying the Chair. TMC MP Dr Santanu Sen has already been suspended for the entire session for snatching and tearing a statement from IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s hand on Pegasus.

Meanwhile, the government blamed the Opposition for disruptions in both the Houses while it continued with the legislative business with both Houses passing bills amidst the din.