Opposition huddles up, lashes out at govt

Sharpest criticism came from Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra, who asked why funding for liberal education is being cut

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Opposition huddles up, lashes out at govt
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders during the Motion of Thanks on President’s Address in Lok Sakha, on Tuesday

The Opposition parties launched a piercing attack on the BJP led NDA government during the course of debate on the motion of thanks to the President's address.

The sharpest criticism came from Trinamool MP in Lok Sabha Mahua Moitra, who raised the spectre of dangerous future riddled with xenophobic nationalism, disdain for human rights, subjugation and control of mass media, intertwining of religion with the government, disdain for intellectuals and arts and erosion of independence in electoral system.

"There is a repression of all dissent, funding is being cut for liberal education and scientific temperament which is enshrined in Article 51 of the Constitution. Everything we are doing is pushing India back to the dark ages. Secondary school textbooks are being manipulated and distorted in order to indoctrinate. You don't even tolerate questioning, let alone dissent," said Moitra in her fiery speech.

NCP member Majeed Memon questioned the government on spiralling increase in incidents of lynching.

"With all humility and respect I am asking from the Prime Minister, how can the government win the trust of Muslim youth when Tabrez was mercilessly beaten and forced to say 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Jai Hanuman'," asked Memon.

The DNK used the opportunity to attack the AIADMK led Tamil Nadu government by calling it "most corrupt" and a "slave" of the BJP.

DMK's Dayanidhi Maran asked the BJP to "introspect" as to why people of Tamil Nadu rejected it during the recent Lok Sabha polls and said the saffron party's strength lies in "opposition's weakness".

His sharp condemnation drew protests from BJP members, who quoted rules to claim that Maran cannot use "offensive" words against a state government or raise such an issue while speaking on the President's address.

Prataprao Jadhav, Shiv Sena MP from Buldhana tried to corner the government on the issues of building Ram temple in Ayodhya and Article 370 in Jammu-Kashmir. He asked why the two most important issues didn't find mention in President's address.

TDP member Jayadev Galla accused the BJP government of "breaking" his party by resorting to "coercive politics" and "weaponising" institutions.

"The BJP is breaking our party and driving out four of our Rajya Sabha MPs by resorting to coercive politics and weaponising institutions," he said.

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