Goa: Opposition boycott LS Speaker Om Birla’s address in state assembly
Leader of the Opposition Congress MLA Yuri Alemao said the entire opposition “disassociate” itself from the event as “a mark of protest”
The entire Opposition in the Goa assembly, including the Congress and Aam Admi Party (AAP), on Thursday boycotted Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s address on “India as a developed country by 2047”.
The Congress said that they decided to protest as Birla didn’t allow party leader Rahul Gandhi to reply to the charges levelled against him by Union ministers during the last budget session.
On Thursday morning, Birla addressed members of the Goa Assembly on the topic “Vikasit Bharat 2047”. In his speech, the Speaker maintained that “there are enough avenues to express dissent in a parliamentary democracy. If dissent is expressed in a dignified manner inside the House, it adds to the prestige of the nation and democracy”.
Leader of the Opposition Congress MLA Yuri Alemao said the entire opposition “disassociate” itself from the event as “a mark of protest”.
Speaking to reporters, Alemao said, “The Lok Sabha Speaker has failed to give a hearing to our leader Rahul Gandhi. So as a mark of respect to our leader, we decided to stay away from today’s Assembly function.”
In March this year, a major controversy erupted in both Houses as Union ministers alleged Gandhi sought help from foreign countries to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—an allegation denied by the Congress and Gandhi. While ministers lashed out at Gandhi, the BJP lawmakers disrupted both Houses demanding his apology.
Gandhi is now disqualified from parliament following his conviction by a Surat court in a criminal defamation case over his alleged “Modi surname” remark.
Addressing a special session of the Goa assembly, Birla spoke on “Viksit Bharat 2047: Role of Public Representatives”. Birla suggested that public representatives must voice the hopes and aspirations of the people adequately in the House to ensure that their problems are addressed effectively and that proper conduct inside the House adds to the prestige of the House.
The Lok Sabha Speaker, who has been accused by the Congress of not allowing Gandhi to reply to the charges, told the Goa assembly, “Legislative institutions have also played an important role in this journey and they have been continuously strengthened.”
This is the first time Opposition MLAs boycotted Birla’s event in an assembly.
The parties which boycotted the event included the Congress, AAP, the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Revolutionary Goans Party (RGP).