New Delhi : It appeared on Wednesday that the Opposition Congress party in the Upper House was running out of ideas and issues to raise on the floor of the House.
Soon after the Zero Hour began, Congress leader Anand Sharma tried to raise an issue related to Tuesday’s acceptance speech in the Central Hall by Ram Nath Kovind after he was sworn in as the 13th President.
The new President did not mention the first prime Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru’s name in his speech whereas he mentioned Mahatma Gandhi and Deedayal Upadhya, the BJP ideologue. This angered the Congress leaders who accused that BJP was deliberately doing it.
This led to an unseemly verbal duel between the Congress and BJP with Finance Minister not only requesting the chairman PJ Kurian to expunge the remarks made by Sharma but also commenting that “Zero Hour is not meant to benefit television channels”.
This enraged the Congress leaders further and many of them rose to protest Jaitley who stood his ground that the Zero Hour in the House was not meant to make such statements as Sharma did and once again wanted them to be erased from the records. For a long time, the sparring continued between the two parties, just like they fought two days in the Lok Sabha, forcing frequent disruptions and adjournments.
Sharma, supported by Gulam Nabi Azad flayed Jaitley and charged that the TV channels were covering only the ruling party as their freedom had been taken away in the past three years. Kapil Sibal also raised voice when an irate Jaitley tried to accuse Congress leaders of not adhering to the rules of the house and importance of the Zero Hour. Sibal said he never kind of an insult of the Opposition.
Sharma wanted to know how could Gandhi and Upadhyay he in the same league and why the NDA Government wanted to deliberately undermine the leaders of the freedom movement.