Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge Thursday refuted the government’s charge that the opposition was stalling business in Parliament, saying a meeting by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to resolve the impasse never happened.
Mr Singh countered the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, saying he did have a phone call conversation over smooth functioning of the House with Mr Kharge but never gave an assurance of any meeting.
Functioning of Parliament has been crippled as the opposition is protesting in both the houses over the Pegasus snooping controversy, farm laws and other issues.
While speaking in Rajya Sabha, Mr Kharge said there are talks outside and even in media that Mr Singh has come forward and reached out to the opposition to end the logjam but the opposition is not ready for that.
Mr Kharge was interrupted by Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh, who was in the chair, on the ground that it was beyond the subject matter of business of the listed matters.
The upper house was discussing the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021, which seeks to replace the related Ordinance brought in in June 2021.
However, the Congress leader said as his name is involved, he would speak on the issue.
“When Rajnath sahab called me on phone, said I am going to Kyrgyzstan and we will find a solution after coming from there,” Mr Kharge said.
Even after returning, no notice for any such meeting has come to any opposition leader from either the Parliamentary Affairs Minister or the leader of the house or even from Singh, he said.
“For that, there is no notice and you are speaking outside and putting the opposition in the dock saying that it is obstructing,” he said, adding that the government is not ready for discussions.
“We are ready for discussion. You can do it right now,” Mr Kharge said, adding, “the discussion for which we are trying for the last 14 days, you are not allowing it.”
The bill, which we can pass later on, the government is trying to get it passed, he said.