NEW DELHI: The headless Congress appears rudderless in the Lok Sabha as the only voice from the opposition benches to go viral so far has been that of debutant MP Mahua Moitra of the Trinamool Congress.
Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary started on a disastrous note by getting embroiled in an avoidable controversy over his “naali” (drain) comment against PM Modi that eclipsed his speech on the motion of thanks on the President’s address.
In sharp contrast, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 303 MPs not only looks an organization with a purpose, but its leadership has also been in total command of the floor.
The first time MP and Union Minister Pratap Chandra Sarangi was the party’s surprise choice to open the debate on President’s address and he trolled the opposition in five languages, becoming an instant hit.
The second to take on the stage from treasury benches was Heena Gavit, a tribal face, while youth leader Poonam Mahajan made a passionate speech on the extension of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir.
In between the energetic show by the party’s emerging faces, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the Congress to the cleaners in both houses in his replies on discussions on President’s address.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah followed it up with a combative speech on Jammu and Kashmir where he emphatically brought BJP’s long-standing position on Article 370 on the forefront, stirring the political pot on the controversial issue. The treasury benches were packed when he spoke.
The Congress tried to counter him with Manish Tewari presenting the party’s view but it was Shah, backed by the packed treasury benches, who had the way.
Even during the question hour, it was the BJP MPs who were seen posing questions to their own ministers. Rajiv Pratap Rudy, for instance, had an uncomfortable question for Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on the deteriorating health of BSNL.
The fall out of the defeat in the Lok Sabha polls for the Congress is clearly visible in the Parliament as the party is struggling to find its feet to stand up to the ruling party.
In fact, it is the non-Congress MPs in the opposition who have made most of the floor time in the Lok Sabha so far. Mahua Moitra of the Trinamool Congress became an instant star on social media with her blistering attack on the government.
In the first two weeks, the substantial legislative business has been taken up in the Parliament. The Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill was passed in both the houses.
The Lok Sabha also gave a go-ahead to the extension of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kat and passed a bill to extend reservation benefits to people living along the International Border in Jammu region.
The government also introduced the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill and the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha.