Presidential Election 2017: Sushma Swaraj tweets video to slam Meira Kumar over her 'ill-treatment' of Opposition in 2013

Sushma Swaraj took to Twitter to convey her disapproval of former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, sharing a video from a 2013 parliamentary session

FP Politics June 26, 2017 06:53:28 IST
Presidential Election 2017: Sushma Swaraj tweets video to slam Meira Kumar over her 'ill-treatment' of Opposition in 2013

Sushma Swaraj took to Twitter on Sunday to express her disapproval of former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, who has been nominated as a presidential candidate by a group of opposition parties led by Congress. Swaraj shared a video from 2013 on the social media site showcasing Meira's behaviour towards Swaraj inside the Parliament.

Swaraj was the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Meira was the Lok Sabha speaker. In the video, Swaraj discusses the corruption in the government, which back then was the UPA-II government.

The video starts off on a conversational note, but get's increasingly confrontational with the budget session getting disrupted due to a tussle inside the Parliament. Swaraj also retweeted an article by The Pioneer, which calls itself an 'independent right-thinking newspaper'. This article, published on Friday, makes quite a tall claim that Swaraj was interrupted '60 times' in the six-minute speech in question.

In a report published in 2013, NDTV had reported that four important money bills — the Demand for Grants (Railways), Demand for Grants (General), Appropriation Bill and the Finance Bill — were to be passed on the next day of this budget session in 2013, but the disruption had allegedly halted these developments.

Hindustan Times had also reported in 2013 that Swaraj accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi of not allowing the opposition to air their views in the Parliament, adding that there was a "situation of total breakdown" in the ties for which the government is "responsible". The report had added that she aired her grievances about Meira during a press conference, saying that the speaker did not give her enough 'protection' to address the Parliament.

So, how much of these remarks on Meira's behaviour are true? Did Meira really interrupt Swaraj "60 times", and obstructed the BJP leader from performing her duties as the leader of the opposition?

While the video displays Swaraj facing a lot of interruptions during her tirade about UPA being "the most corrupt government since independence", the interruptions were not caused by Meira Kumar, but rather by the commotion inside the Parliament due to Swaraj's assertions.

Meira, who was known for her politeness during her tenure as the Lok Sabha speaker, and according to her critics, may deserve flak for failing to maintain decorum inside the Parliament during this incident, but it seems from the video that her 'treatment' towards Swaraj was not amiss. Besides, BJP (and Swaraj) should also consider the party's history of disruptions during the UPA-II regime before calling the kettle black.

The fact that Swaraj decided to share this old video now also seems to be in bad faith. The timing is quite opportune, with the Opposition recently nominating Kumar as the presidential candidate for the upcoming elections on 17 July. She will be competing against the NDA candidate for the designation, Ram Nath Kovind. Even though Meira's chances of winning the election are 'nearly impossible', it's visibly clear that BJP would leave no stones unturned to make it more difficult.

Watch the full video here:

With inputs from agencies. 

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