Opposition parties are planning to stage a “mock Parliament” outside the complex to take on the Union government for refusing to give in to their demands to discuss the Pegasus controversy and for merely passing Bills.
The Pegasus issue involved the national security of the country and the Opposition needed an explanation from the government, they added, said a News 18 report.
While an Indian Express report pointed out that the Opposition was keen to hold a parallel Parliament outside the building as “only the government version” was coming out because discussions on protested issues were not taking place.
This idea for a mock parliament and to chalk out strategies to end the deadlock in Parliament and ensure their demands are heard, Opposition parties will hold a meeting tomorrow morning (Tuesday 3) under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. He is expected to host a breakfast meeting for the Opposition leaders at his residence.
Since the monsoon session convened on July 19, the Parliament has not functioned at all due to the Opposition parties raising Cain demanding discussions over Pegasus, the farm laws and other issues. This has meant that Parliament has been active for just 18 hours out of possible 107 hours so far and has led to a loss of more than ₹133 crores, top sources said, pointed out the News18 report.
Lok Sabha functioned for about seven hours out of possible 54 hours. While, Rajya Sabha was active for 11 hours out of nearly 53 hours. Therefore, 89 hours of working time have been wasted, the sources added.
It was no different today (August 2) as well, as Parliament proceedings in both Houses were adjourned for the day, without conducting any business. Amid the din over the Pegasus spyware row and other issues, however, two bills, the Inland Vessel’s Bill and the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021, were passed.
Congress MP Manickam Tagore set the tone for the rest of the day in Lok Sabha in the morning when he gave an adjournment motion notice to have a discussion in the House on the ‘Pegasus Project’ media report in the presence of the Prime Minister or the Home Minister.
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha Leader of Parliament Mallikarjun Kharge blamed the government for the non-functioning of the House. The government is not keen on a discussion on the Pegasus issue since it would “expose” them, he said. “Government doesn’t want itself to get exposed. They’ll face challenges if there’s a discussion on ‘Pegasus’, they’ll lose their dignity. They say they’re ready for discussion but they don’t want it,” reiterated Kharge, said media reports.
Parliamentary proceedings were adjourned for the day after the repeated disruptions by Opposition members in both Houses.
An Indian Express report meanwhile said quoting sources that the government was “seriously considering the curtailment of the Monsoon Session”, which was originally slated to continue until August 13.
According to a minister, the daily spoke to, the government was ready to discuss every people-related issue in Parliament, but the Opposition did not want that. “It’s a complete waste of money and time,” a minister said. He added that the “looming COVID threat… with many areas reporting cases” would also prompt the government to wrap up the session earlier.