President’s rap for government, not opposition: Azad

New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday said it is the government, more than the opposition, which should pay heed to President Pranab Mukherjee’s criticism of the continued logjam in Parliament.

“What the honourable President said is an admonition for the government and not for the opposition. It is the government’s ministers who are not letting the Parliament function,” the Congress leader told media here.

“They have not realised as yet that they are in the government now, and not in opposition. Why are they assuming the role of the opposition?” he added.

Azad averred that there has been no initiative or outreach from the government’s side to find common ground with the opposition.

“What all they have been doing is criticising the opposition five times a day in their media bytes. This is not the way to run Parliament,” he said.

Severely criticising the Narendra Modi government over demonetisation, he said that it is perhaps the biggest scam of India so far which has caused innumerable hardships to the people.

He also called persons who died in bank queues post demonetisation as “martyrs”.

“The government is not ready to acknowledge that more than hundred people have died due to its wrong policy. They refused to bring in obituary reference in Parliament for these martyrs, nor did the Prime Minister expressed any sympathy towards their families in his Mann Ki Baat.

“This is the height of shamelessness,” Azad said.

He also accused Prime Minister Modi of shifting the goalposts everyday.

“First they (government) said it’s a fight against black money. But official figures show that out of around 14 lakh crore rupees of the total currency, around 12 lakh crore have returned. So where is the black money?.

“Then they said it will curb fake currency. But fake currency is just Rs 400 crore. So you used an atom bomb to kill a mouse? Then you said it will curb terrorism. But a terrorist captured in Bandipora already had the new Rs 2,000 currency note.

“Now they are saying it’s a move towards cashless economy. In more than 100 countries I have been to, I have never seen a fully cashless economy. And they want to implement in a vast country like India where there are no banks, no ATMs, no connectivity in remotest parts?” said Azad, adding all the arguments put forth by the Prime Minister and his government do not hold water.

–IANS

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