Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on 23 November accused the opposition parties of creating contempt of Parliament by not allowing the debate on demonetisation and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken this radical, bold and revolutionary step of fighting against corruption and black money in the interest of the nation.
"You have not been allowing the debate to take place, you have been asking for the presence of the Prime Minister. He came as per his responsibilities. You don't allow the debate to go on. What is the explanation you give to the people of the country? Secondly, you are now saying that ten parties have come together. What is your strength? What is you mandate of the people? Where do you stand?" he asked.
Naidu said the ruling BJP at the Centre is a protector of the poor of the country.
"We represent the poor of the country. We polled maximum number of votes; we got maximum number of seats. We have the highest number of Scheduled Caste MPs. We have the highest number of Scheduled Tribe MPs. We have the highest number of Backward Caste MPs. We have the highest number of Kisan MPs. We have the highest number of Rural MPs. We represent the poor of the country and we have protected the interest of the poor," Naidu told the media here.
"Keeping in view the interest of the poor and the middle-class and the lower middle-class, the Prime Minister has taken this radical, bold, revolutionary step of fighting against corruption and black money. This is a crusade against corruption and black money, the entire country is happy about it," he added.
Naidu, however, admitted that there are some problems, which are being attended and addressed.
"Everyday any problem that is coming to the notice of the government, the government is coming up with a solution," he said, adding that the recent surveys clearly indicate that the nation backs the government's demonetisation move.
The Union Minister further said this is an attempt only to hoodwink the people's mandate.
"And as far as the BJP is concerned, we are for debate, discussion and decision. We have been saying it from the beginning and same is the case now. Even in the recent by-elections also, the BJP's vote percentage and number of seats has gone up. We have snatched some seats from the Congress and then we have pushed the Communist Party into the third position in (West) Bengal," said Naidu.
"We have pushed the Congress Party into the third position in Tripura and then BJP has improved its performance and then pushed the Congress Party in Arunachal also. In Assam also, we have gained at the expense of the Congress Party. The results are in our favour, the poor are in our favour and the country is in favour of the decision taken by the honourable Prime Minister," he added.
The Union Minister's assertion came as a united opposition yet again cornered the government in Parliament over demonetisation.
The Parliament was today adjourned for the day following uproar over demonetisation issue. When the House reassembled at noon after first adjournment, the opposition members including Congress, TMC, Left and RJD demanded discussion on the issue under relevant rule which entails voting.
A united opposition today staged a protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Parliament against the demonetisation of high value currency notes.
The major parties which participated in the protest are Congress, BSP, JD(U), TMC, AIADMK, NCP, Left, RJD and the Samajwadi Party. The MPs raised slogans and displayed posters against demonetisation.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi later told the media that Prime Minister Modi must come to Parliament and address the members over the government's decision to demonetise high value currency notes.
Asserting that economy has been affected by the step, Gandhi demanded the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the alleged selective leakage of the decision.
He said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the Chief Economic Advisor were not even consulted by Prime Minister Modi before considering the decision.