Monsoon Session Day 2: 'Opposition Weak On Arguments, Strong On Disruption'

22/07/2015 11:36 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

NEW DELHI -- While both houses of parliament descended into chaos on the monsoon session's second day, the Modi government attacked the opposition for disrupting parliament due to lack of substantive arguments, and reiterated that Bharatiya Janata Party leaders accused in recent scandals have not broken any laws to warrant investigation or resignation.

"The opposition is weak on arguments but strong on disruption," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the media on Wednesday afternoon.

Over the past two days, the BJP has offered a discussion on the Lalit Modi scandal and the Vyapam scam, but the opposition has demanded resignations of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

"Please start the discussion right now," Jaitley, Leader of the House, said in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. "Which law has Sushma Swaraj violated?"

Jaitley was shouted down by Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati for suggesting that Vyapam is a state issue which should not be discussed in parliament. "This is not a state issue. This is a national issue," she said.

Sitaram Yechuri, lawmaker from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), noted that people connected to the scam had died outside the state. "The job of the parliament is to make the government accountable," he said. "A discussion is not a substitute for an investigation."

Swaraj has admitted to helping Lalit Modi, a fugitive from Indian law, obtain travel documents from British authorities in 2014 on "humanitarian grounds." The foreign minister has offered to debate the issue in parliament.

Raje stands accused of backing the immigration application of Lalit Modi, who is being investigated for money laundering related to the Indian Premier League cricket tournament. Raje extended her assistance in 2011, when she was Leader of the Opposition, on the condition that it would be hidden from the Indian government.

Vyapam is a massive scam which involves politicians and government officials allowing impostors to take exams for government jobs in Madhya Pradesh, and manipulating exam results, in exchange of vast sums of money. Several people connected with scam have died in mysterious circumstances since 2010.

READ: Monsoon Session Day 1 - Congress Party Causes Repeated Adjournments Over Lalit Modi Scandal

In a counter strike on Wednesday, Swaraj said that she will disclose the name of a senior Congress Party leader who allegedly pressured her to give a diplomatic passport to an accused in the coal scam.

READ: Sushma Swaraj Says She Will Name Congress Leader Who Was Lobbying For Coal Scam Accused

Both houses were repeatedly adjourned on Wednesday as the opposition continued its call for resignations of BJP leaders.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan even threatened "disciplinary action," while calling on lawmakers to remove their placards and black armbands.

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