Yechury accuses PM Modi of ‘contempt’ of Parliament

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, pointing to precedents when Manmohan Singh sat through two debates in Parliament on 2G and coal scams and replied, said “But here PM Modi is running away from debate.”

Photo by Ramesh Pathania/Mint via Getty Images
Photo by Ramesh Pathania/Mint via Getty Images
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PTI

Referring to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's statement that there was no rule to make the PM sit through any debate in Parliament, Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Thursday that there were precedents when the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sat through two debates on the 2G spectrum allocation scam and the coal scam and replied to it. "But here the Prime Minister is running away from debate," he alleged.


The CPI(M) objected to the notification to waive service tax on debit and credit card transactions of up to Rs 2,000. "No taxation proposal can be implemented, except being approved by Parliament. It is a clear violation of parliamentary norms and procedures.... No tax proposal can be made anywhere else but in Parliament," Yechury told a press conference on Thursday in Delhi.



He said "matters relating to withdrawal from or accrual to the Consolidated Fund of India .... cannot be carried out without Parliament's nod. "In this case, the Consolidated Fund will receive less on account of service tax waiver because of the Prime Minister's approval to it. This cannot be done."



Yechury's party colleague and Lok Sabha MP Mohammed Salim said service tax was passed by Parliament as part of the budget proposal. "So if any changes have to be made in it, it has to be made in Parliament."

“The Prime Minister is singularly responsible for the entire mess in our economy because it was his announcement ( demonetisation), as his personal decision and not that of the Union Cabinet. Let him be accountable to the House. Why is he running away from Parliament”.
Sitaram Yechury

CPI(M) MP Mohd Salim: GST absent from agenda listed by government


To a question on the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Salim said "it shows the government's lack of trustworthiness as the measure has not been listed in Parliament's agenda for next week, which is the last in this session."


The Winter Session was "advanced on the pretext of passing the GST but there is no reference to it in the government's agenda," Salim said. Yechury claimed there was "no agreement" between the Centre and the states in the GST Council. He said all the state Finance Ministers have reported revenue losses to states as "people are not buying anything due to demonetisation".


"The Prime Minister is singularly responsible for the entire mess in our economy because it was his announcement ( demonetisation), as his personal decision and not that of the Union Cabinet. Let him be accountable to the House. Why is he running away from Parliament," Yechury added.


Observing that Modi was not present in Rajya Sabha today when questions on the PMO were listed to be answered, he said, "The Prime Minister avoids coming to the House, but continuously makes policy statements outside in public speeches. He is continuously violating parliamentary norms and practices."


"That is why it is a contempt of Parliament. That's where the stalemate is. It is completely against the norms and traditions of Parliament. I have renewed my (contempt) notice today and urged the (Rajya Sabha) Chairman (Hamid Ansari) to consider it and give his ruling. A meeting of the Privileges Committee has been called tomorrow," he told a press conference here.

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