Attacking Congress for its 65 years of "misrule", PM Narendra Modi's ruling BJP today mocked the reduced stature of the rival party and said it was unthinkable that a national party has to be welcomed as a "regional party" in Lok Sabha but promised to take the opposition party along in the decision-making process.
"We never imagined that we will have to welcome a national party as a regional party in this House...What prompted this to happen? Why this mandate?...People have punished you for your misrule for 65 years," BJP member Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, initiating a debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's address.
His remarks triggered protests from opposition benches, with Rudy saying that since there was no Leader of the Opposition, Congress would not be able to participate in decision-making on major issues like appointment of Chief Vigilance Commissioner, CBI Director or Lokpal.
Earlier, Sushma Swaraj (as the Leader of the Opposition) used to give her views, but the then Prime Minister used to have his way. But we will not leave you behind, we will take you along. This is our promise. Our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) is large-hearted," Rudy said.
He, however, said Congress party's suggestions would not be accepted "if you give suggestions which reflect the way in which you had been running the country for 65 years".
As the din continued, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan appealed for order and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu urged members not to create any disturbance as it was "the first working day" of the session.
To this, some Congress members shouted "you never allowed anyone to speak earlier."
Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) members were also on their feet, with some of them urging the Speaker to direct Rudy to speak on the Motion and not digress.
With protests continuing, the Speaker said, "This is not the way. So many new members have come and some have returned after a few years. Please speak when you are given the chance. Such interruptions are not correct."
Rudy said BJP got a huge mandate due to the painstaking efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who travelled more than three lakh km and attended 440 rallies and directly talked to 25 crore people.
"With this much travel, the Prime Minister could have travelled seven times around the globe," he said.
The BJP leader said the Lok Sabha election has showed