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Mallikarjun Kharge vs Piyush Goyal: Heated Exchange in Parliament’s Special Session

Mallikarjun Kharge vs Piyush Goyal: Heated Exchange in Parliament’s Special Session

The special session of the Indian Parliament, which began today, witnessed a heated exchange between Congress President and Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal. 

Kharge’s humorous reference to the recently-concluded G20 Summit as the “G2 Summit” led to a spirited debate on the priorities of the government and opposition. Moreover, Kharge also mocked the BJP for changing names and asked them to focus on issues and change the reality instead. This incident added a touch of political drama to the five-day parliamentary sitting, marked by discussions on Parliament’s 75-year journey and the impending relocation to the new Parliament building.

“G2” Remark

Mallikarjun Kharge, in his 65-minute-long address to Parliament, humorously referred to the G20 Summit as the “G2 Summit.” He criticized the government, suggesting that it was preoccupied with global affairs while neglecting pressing domestic issues such as inflation and unemployment. This remark served as a rhetorical dig at the government’s priorities.

Rajya Sabha Chairman’s Correction

Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar promptly corrected Kharge, clarifying that it was the “G20 Summit.” However, Kharge responded wittily by remarking that the “zero” in G20 was covered with a lotus, symbolizing the BJP’s election symbol. This exchange injected a lighthearted but confrontational tone into the parliamentary proceedings.

Kharge’s Accusation: Weakening the Opposition

Kharge’s speech took a critical turn as he indirectly accused the government of attempting to weaken the opposition. He referenced the use of central agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to target opposition leaders. Kharge suggested that the government was employing these agencies to diminish the strength of the opposition.

He drew attention to the words of India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who believed in the importance of a robust opposition. Nehru had stated that the absence of a strong opposition indicated a flaw in the democratic system.

Kharge criticized the government for undermining a strong opposition by involving agencies like the CBI and the ED, which, in his words, acted as a “washing machine” to clean opposition leaders.

Criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Kharge launched a critique of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. He accused the Prime Minister of being silent on critical issues, such as the unrest in Manipur. Kharge questioned why the Prime Minister, who frequently travels across the country, had not visited Manipur during times of turmoil.

In response, Dhankhar suggested that Kharge had an issue with the Prime Minister’s visits to his own constituency. Kharge clarified that he welcomed the Prime Minister’s visits if they aimed at addressing important matters.

Comparative Analysis of Prime Ministers

Kharge made a comparative analysis of the number of statements issued by different Prime Ministers during their respective tenures. He noted that while former Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh had issued statements multiple times, Prime Minister Modi had issued very few.

He underscored the significance of the right to franchise established in the Indian Constitution, highlighting how it expanded the scope of participation in democracy.

Acknowledging Congress’s Role in India’s Progress

Kharge took pride in the contributions of Congress leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru, B.R. Ambedkar, and Vallabhbhai Patel, in drafting the Indian Constitution. He emphasized that the Constitution extended the right to vote to every citizen, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

He criticized the BJP’s abbreviation of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc as “INDI Alliance.” Kharge asserted that regardless of nomenclature, they represent “INDIA.”

Goyal’s Retort: Invoking the 2G Spectrum Scam

In response to Kharge’s remark, the BJP launched a counterattack by invoking the 2G spectrum scam that occurred during the Congress government’s tenure. Union Minister Piyush Goyal took a swipe at Kharge and the Gandhis, suggesting that Kharge only sees “2G, One G, and Son G.” This retort not only ridiculed Kharge’s statement but also alluded to Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

Parliament’s Special Session Agenda

The special session of Parliament, while witnessing these political exchanges, has several important items on its agenda, which are as follows:

  1. Discussion on Parliament’s 75-Year Journey: The session commenced with a discussion on Parliament’s 75-year journey. This historical reflection aims to highlight the achievements, experiences, memories, and learnings accumulated during this significant period in India’s parliamentary history.
  2. Relocation to the New Parliament Building: One of the prominent aspects of this session is the planned relocation of parliamentary proceedings from the old building to the newly constructed Parliament building. This transition is scheduled to occur on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Way Forward

The special session of the Indian Parliament began with humor, wit, and a spirited exchange of words between Mallikarjun Kharge and the BJP. Kharge’s “G2 Summit” remark, meant to criticize the government’s priorities, led to a swift correction and a retort invoking the 2G spectrum scam. Amidst this political drama, Parliament is set to engage in crucial discussions about its own history and the significant move to the new Parliament building. As the session progresses, it remains to be seen if more political sparks will fly or if substantive issues will take center stage in India’s legislative body.

To Read more about Parliament’s Special Session click here

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