Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah on Thursday led a fast by party MPs across the country in protest against the disruptions during the recently concluded Budget Session of Parliament.
The Congress, meanwhile, pointed out that Shah’s itinerary for the day included lunch with farmers, and asked whether the fast was a “farce”. “Is Modi going to protest against his own government?” the Congress asked. “Because, if not upon the government of the day, on whom does the responsibility of ensuring Parliament works lie?”
Modi continued his official work while observing the fast. He arrived in Chennai on Thursday morning to inaugurate the Defence Expo India 2018 amid demonstrations against the Centre’s delay in forming the Cauvery Management Board. He also visited the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and a cancer institute.
Shah observed the hunger strike in Dharwad, Karnataka, along with his party’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa and other MPs. Assembly elections are scheduled in Karnataka in May.
Shah accused the Congress for the deadlock in the Parliament and said it was the first time that a ruling party was ready to discuss every issue but the Opposition was shying away.
The second half of the Budget Session concluded on April 6, with proceedings being washed out each day amid uproar from the Opposition.
The BJP’s announcement had come a day after a nationwide fast observed by Congress leaders, including party President Rahul Gandhi, to protest the alleged atrocities committed against Dalits and minorities under the Narendra Modi government.
The Congress has called the fast a tactic to divert attention from more pressing concerns. It has accused the government of intentionally allow disruptions in the Parliament’s proceedings.
The MPs will end their fast at 5 pm.