Press Trust of India

Oppn boycott of Prez address ‘unfortunate’: BJP

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New Delhi: Terming the boycott of President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament by opposition parties as “unfortunate”, the BJP on Friday said as the symbol constitutional head of the country, the President is above political differences, and attacked the Congress, saying its “arrogance” is the “real problem”.
Asserting that opposition parties violated parliamentary conventions, BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the BJP never boycotted a presidential address to Parliament despite many “scams” during the Congress-led UPA government.
Singling out the Congress, the largest opposition party which is among the 20 parties that boycotted the address, in his attack, Prasad said its “arrogance” is the “real problem” as it believes that it is bound to rule the country despite not having the popular mandate.
“The Budget session commenced with President’s address today. The President is beyond the pale of political divide and represents the symbol of constitutional head of India and therefore, he is entitled to our respect,” Prasad told reporters outside Parliament.
It is a matter of great regret today that the opposition sought to boycott the Presidential address, Prasad said, adding that more irresponsible is the behaviour of Congress which ruled India for fifty years.
Another party leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar also slammed the Congress, alleging that its existence over the last 5-6 years is based on a “false narrative” that the Modi government is against constitutional institution and values.
Today the same Congress boycotted the address of the President, the constitutional head, he said. “Their hypocrisy stands exposed again!” he tweeted.
In his remarks, Prasad asked what kind of precedent and tradition the Congress is leaving for the country as he condemned its opposition party MP Ravneet Singh Bittu for raising slogans during the presidential address.
It was very painful and unfortunate, he said.
Prasad also said the Congress has not denounced the violence at Red Fort and the “insult” to the national flag during the farmers’ tractor rally on January 26.
“The real problem of Congress is its arrogance from its self developed belief that only it is bound to rule the country,” Prasad said.
Opposition parties, including the Congress, boycotted the address in support of the protesting farmers’ demand for a repeal of the three agri laws. (PTI)



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