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BJP leaders to join Narendra Modi, Amit Shah for day-long fast over disruptions during Budget Session of Parliament

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah are going to observe a day-long fast on Wednesday over disruptions during the Budget Session of the Parliament, media reports said.

Narendra Modi and Amit Shah

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. PTI

ANI reports that all Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs are slated to join the fast on 11 April. Times Now reports that there will also be an audio conference at 11 am, where the prime minister will convey a message to all party MLAs and MPs. Modi will urge the leaders t0 spread this message after the one-day fast.

According to PTI, Shah will hold a dharna at Hubli in poll-bound Karnataka on the same day as the fast. While observing the fast, Modi will also not disturb his daily official routine of meeting people and officials, and clearing files, the report added.

The Budget Session of Parliament had ended last Friday with the second part completely washed out in the wake of a standoff between the government and the Opposition whose no-confidence motion was not taken up for more than a fortnight.

While the first half of Budget Session — from 29 January to 9 February — was productive, the second half from 5 March saw repeated adjournments in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha amid a display of placards and sloganeering by parties, mainly the AIADMK and friend-turned-foe TDP besides the YSR Congress and TRS.

According to PRS legislative, a research initiative that tracks the work of Parliament, the Budget Session was least productive since 2000. The two houses also spent the least amount of time spent on debating the Budget since 2000.

Modi had also criticised the Opposition during his visit to Bihar. "They (Opposition) are creating hurdles in the work of the government from the streets to Parliament. Today you have a government at the Centre which is working to unite the people of the country while the opposition is working to divide the people," Modi told the National Convention of 'Swachhagrahis' in Motihari.

Protesting against the disruptions, the BJP had earlier announced that the National Democratic Alliance MPs would forego salaries along with allowances for 23 days due to the washout of the second half of the Budget Session.

The announcement of the fast comes just days after Congress president Rahul Gandhi had on Monday led the party's day-long fast at the Rajghat in Delhi over alleged increasing atrocities on Dalits, Adivasis, and minorities and dubbed the Modi government as "anti-Dalits" while vowing to defeat the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Opposition Congress termed the fast by the prime minister as a "farce" and said he should apologise over the way his party had "denigrated and disrespected" parliament.

"They have disrespected and denigrated the highest temple of democracy. So prime minister should publicly say that he is sorry that is why he is holding this fast on 12 April to tender this apology to various sections of India's population," Congress Communications in charge Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Apr 10, 2018 20:39 PM

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