Attacking the Congress for its 65 years of "misrule", the ruling BJP said on Tuesday 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, the 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 the 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.