CPI(M) today held the Prime Minister “singularly responsible” for the “mess” in the economy due to demonetization and said it has renewed its contempt notice against him for continuously making policy statements outside Parliament and “running away” from a debate in the House.
Referring to Modi’s November 8 demonetization announcement, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said, “The Prime Minister is singularly responsible for the entire mess in our economy because it was his announcement, 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?”
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.”
“Even today, there was clear violation as the waiver of service tax on credit and debit card transactions was made outside Parliament. … No tax proposal can be made anywhere else but in Parliament,” Yechury said, adding that the Consolidated Fund of India “will now get less service tax receipts because of the Prime Minister’s proposal”.
“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.
Referring to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that there was no rule to make the PM sit through any debate in Parliament, he said there are 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.
He said the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee to go into “all aspects” of effects of demonetization including “the deaths of over 100 people”, the “harassment” caused to the public and “several” BJP leaders allegedly being caught with large amounts of cash, has been supported by several major Opposition parties in Parliament.