Opposition leaders being harassed: Kharge in Lok Sabha

New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday accused the Narendra Modi government of following different yardsticks on allegations concerning its own leaders and those of the Congress, and said that opposition leaders are being harassed.

“There are two laws – one for the ruling parties and the other for the opposition parties,” he said.

The Congress members have been protesting in the house against “political vendetta” of the government.

The protests started after Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed the plea of Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to quash the summons issued to them by a trial court on Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy’s complaint regarding the acquisition of National Herald newspaper.

The Congress has said no illegality has ben committed by party leaders in the case. The party claimed that Swamy has been given specific task of targeting the Congress.

Kharge accused the government of trying to suppress the voice of opposition.

“Opposition leaders are being harassed. If you want to suppress our voice, it would not happen. We are not against judiciary, we are protesting against your regressive policies,” he said.

The atmosphere in the house got charged up when Kharge pointed towards union Minister V.K. Singh and said that he should be removed for allegedly making anti-Dalit remarks.

Singh, who was seated a few benches away from Kharge, chuckled at the demand. This angered the opposition members who demanded his immediate removal.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the government was not acting as a dictator and that the opposition was holding the house hostage by not allowing peaceful business.

“They are against democracy. They are trying to threaten judiciary. The Congress must respect peoples’ mandate,” Naidu said in a forceful voice even as opposition members kept on shouting slogans.

“We are proud of our ministers,” Naidu said.

Meanwhile, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked the opposition members to be seated.

Trinamool Congress’ Saugata Roy stood up to make a point but the speaker said he could speak only on the listed subject.

He insisted and said: “The government is acting in a vindictive way.”

He along with other party leaders staged a walkout as the speaker did not allow him to comment on Kharge’s charge against the government.

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