The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday announced a nationwide fast on April 12, hours after the Budget Session of Parliament adjourned indefinitely.
The BJP blamed the Congress for the logjam in Parliament, where little to no legislative business has been carried out in the second half of the Budget Session that ended Friday. “The Congress party is intolerant of the mandate given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 21 states,” Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told NDTV.
Kumar said Modi accused the Congress of divisive politics during the BJP’s Parliamentary meeting in New Delhi on Friday. He said Modi and other BJP leaders will spend a night, between April 14 and May 5, in more than 20,844 villages where Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes form over 50% of the population, to inform them about the Centre’s welfare measures, PTI reported.
The move comes after Congress leaders protested in Parliament over the past week against the Supreme Court judgment on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi called for a nationwide fast by his party members on April 9 to “protect and promote communal harmony” across the nation, The Economic Times reported. The party said it was protesting against the way the government handled the Bharat Bandh called by SC/ST groups on April 2 over the Supreme Court judgment. Nine people were killed in these protests.
Congress General Secretary (Organisation) Ashok Gehlot wrote to all state Congress presidents about the fast. The Congress said both BJP-ruled states and the Centre did not take any steps to curb the violence or protect the community.
On Friday, Congress leaders also did not attend a tea hosted by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, protesting against the way disruptions in the house were handled.
Parliament marred by protests
All through the Budget Session, protests by MPs from different states, with various demands, caused unending adjournments in both houses of the Parliament.
Leaders from Andhra Pradesh’s Telugu Desam Party and YSR Congress demanded a special status category for the state, while six Opposition parties moved a no-confidence motion against the government. Members from Tamil Nadu also demanded that the Cauvery Management Board, which will decide how Tamil Nadu and Karnataka share the river water, be set up immediately.