New Delhi: Angered over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's absence from Parliament, Congress on Saturday sought to make "PM-mukt Parliament" a major issue and signalled that it would take it up aggressively in the winter session. "Monsoon session of Parliament is over. We discussed many serious issues. But, the Prime Minister was absent during many of these discussions," Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal said.
The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha discussed issues like Kashmir and dalit atrocities and the Prime Minister was absent during these discussions.
Earlier too, when Parliament had debates on Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and on the role of Governors, the Prime Minister was not there, he said.
"We have a PM-mukt Parliament. It is a sad state of affairs. He says he respects the Constitution, but doesn't attend Parliament," Sibal said. "We will raise this issue in the next session. Why the PM doesn't come to Parliament? It is because he is afraid. We want him to remain the Nation's Watchman and provide the nation with answers," Sibal said.
Alleging that the Prime Minister was "not in the habit" of answering questions posed to him, Sibal said Modi did the same thing as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
The Prime Minister likes to address rallies and meetings as one does not have to answer to crowds. "But in Parliament, you have to answer the opposition.... In a crowd, no one will question him. But, in Parliament, the Opposition will," he said.
Earlier this week, the party in a commentary had taken potshots at the Prime Minister over his "absence" from Parliament, saying "India has been forced to come to terms with a PM-mukt Parliament".
"When PM Modi assumed office, he had said that Parliament is a temple of Democracy and he kowtowed before entering the august building for the first time. A year into his term, on one of his numerous trips to the USA, he said, the Constitution is the only holy book for his Government.
"But, today, India has been forced to come to terms with a 'PM-mukt Parliament'. PM Modi's actions show his disdain for the Parliament and its affairs", the party said, targeting Modi by using a parody of his call for 'Congress-mukt Bharat' he had made during the Lok Sabha poll campaign. The Congress alleged that the Prime Minister loves to speak, "but, unfortunately, not in national interest but for vote bank politics."