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How many will you mislead: Jairam asks Pralhad Joshi after he writes back to Sonia Gandhi


New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Wednesday were engaged in bitter war of words following a letter by Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the special five day session of Parliament seeking debate on nine pressing issues facing the country.

Ramesh hit back at Joshi asking how many he will mislead as on each and every occasion of a special session or sitting of Parliament, the agenda was well known in advance.

His remarks came after Joshi wrote to Sonia Gandhi.

Taking to X, Ramesh, who is also Congress Communication Incharge said: “How much will you mislead Joshi-avare? On each and every occasion of a Special Session or sitting, the agenda was well known in advance. It is only the Modi government that routinely disrespects Parliament and distorts Parliamentary conventions.”

The Rajya Sabha MP said that past governments, “including yours, have called many special sittings to commemorate the Constitution Day, Quit India Movement and other such occasions.”

Sharing the details of the special sessions, Ramesh said: “Here’s an exhaustive list of past instances, starting with Special Sessions: June 30, 2017 — A Joint Special Session in the Central Hall at midnight to roll out the GST. A Special Session of Lok Sabha was called in July 2008 for a trust vote after the Left parties withdrew support from the UPA-1 government. A Special Session was called from August 26, 1997 to 1 September, 1997 to commemorate 50th anniversary of Indian Independence.”

Sharing other dates, he said, “Earlier, there were two instances where the Upper House met for a Special Session when the Lok Sabha was under dissolution — Special Session (158th Session) was held for two days starting on June 3, 1991 for approval of the President’s Rule in Haryana, under the proviso to Article 356(3) and Special Session of Rajya Sabha was held in February 1977 for two days for the extension of the President’s Rule in Tamil Nadu and Nagaland under the second proviso to Article 356(4).”

He also shared the list of Special Sittings of Parliament and said, “And here’s a list of Special Sittings: Special Sitting in Central Hall forenoon on 26 November, 2019 commemorating 70th anniversary of Constitution amidst then ongoing winter session. 9 August, 2017 — Special Sitting to commemorate 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement, amidst ongoing Monsoon session. 26 and 27 November, 2015 — Special Sitting to commemorate Constitution Day. 13 May 2012 — Special Sitting to commemorate 60th anniversary of first sittings of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha — during the then ongoing budget session.”

His remarks came after Joshi in a tweet said, “Yet another desperate attempt by Sonia Gandhi and the Congress Party to create an issue out of nothing. The government has convened the session as per the provisions of the constitution and the due procedure has been followed.”

Earlier in the day, Joshi wrote to Sonia Gandhi pointing out that the special session of Parliament that has been scheduled for September 18-22 is not in contravention of rules and regulations and accused her of creating a “controversy” on the issue.

He responded to Sonia Gandhi after she wrote to the Prime Minister on the special five-day session of the Parliament seeking debate on nine pressing issues facing the country which includes economic situation like backbreaking inflation, unemployment, commitment to farmers for law on MSP guarantee, Chinese occupation of Indian territory, caste census, threat to federal structure and other issues.

While pointing out that the session was being convened without any consultation with other political parties, Sonia Gandhi expressed the willingness of the opposition to participate (in the session) hoping time will be allocated for discussion on these issues.

“I must point out that this Special Session has been convened without any consultation with other political parties. None of us have any idea of its agenda. All we have been communicated is that all five days have been allocated for Government Business,” she wrote in her letter to the PM, adding, “we most certainly want to participate in the Special Session because it will give us an opportunity to raise matters of public concern and importance.”

“I earnestly hope that time will be allocated under the appropriate Rules for a discussion and debate on these issues,” the CPP Chairperson said and added, “I hope that in a spirit of constructive cooperation, these issues will be taken up in the forthcoming Special Session.”

She demanded discussion on the current economic situation with focus on increasing price rise of essential commodities, growing unemployment, and rise in inequalities and distress of MSMEs.

The CPP Chairperson mentioned the need for discussion on continued occupation of Indian territory by China and challenges to our sovereignty on our borders in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.


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