Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) President HD Deve Gowda on Sunday said he was disgusted by the behaviour of MPs from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as well as Opposition parties during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, PTI reported.
The Monsoon Session ended two days ahead of schedule on August 11. Throughout the session, the Opposition kept demanding a discussion on the Pegasus spyware controversy and staged protests against the three farm laws and the increase in the prices of essential commodities. The protests caused multiple adjournments in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on a daily basis.
Gowda, who is a Rajya Sabha MP, said the Parliament Session was wasted because of the chaos. “I was not allowed to speak during the Monsoon Session due to the ruckus by members of the ruling and Opposition parties,” he said. “No business took place.”
The senior leader added: “People danced on the table in the Well of the House. In my 30 years as a parliamentarian, I have never witnessed any incident like this.”
Gowda was referring to Opposition MPs climbing atop tables and throwing papers about during a discussion on farm laws in the Rajya Sabha on August 10. The Janata Dal (Secular) chief said that such conduct pointed to the deterioration of democratic values, PTI reported.
Gowda also criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress for not resolving matters related to Karnataka, including water disputes, The Hindu reported. He added that the Janata Dal (Secular) will begin a state-wide campaign for the resolution of those matters after the end of the Assembly session on September 24.
“The JD(S) will be fighting for the issues on the Upper Krishna Project, Mekedatu, and Mahadayi rivers,” Gowda was quoted as saying by The Hindu. “After the padayatra, we will take a delegation to the prime minister. In case the state government takes a delegation, our party is willing to join it.”
Gowda said that only a regional party could find a solution to the disputes.
“I am not sure about the nature of leadership against Modi,” Gowda said when asked about the Opposition’s strategy for the 2024 elections. “Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is also fighting Modi, should move forward.”
On Friday, 19 Opposition parties held a meeting to discuss the plan for the 2024 elections. Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Trinamool Congress’ Mamata Banerjee, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury were among those who attended the meeting.
At the virtual meet, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had said Opposition parties must plan systematically for the Lok Sabha elections with one objective in mind – to give India a government that believes in constitutional principles.
The Congress chief had added that the only option was for Opposition parties to work together. “We all have our compulsions, but clearly, a time has come when the interests of our nation demand that we rise above them,” Gandhi had said.