BJD sides with Opposition, YSRCP with NDA over criticism of PM’s speech

Both had supported the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on key legislative matters in Parliament during its previous term at the Centre.


Published Jul 03, 2024 | 5:40 PM Updated Jul 03, 2024 | 5:40 PM

Rajya Sabha

Two unaligned and key regional parties charted separate political paths in Parliament’s first session in the Modi government’s third term as the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) joined the opposition in targeting the treasury benches, while the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) kept away from such protests and remained sympathetic to the Centre.

Both the parties have suffered serious setbacks in the recent Lok Sabha polls and lost power in their respective states, where Assembly elections were held simultaneously. Both had supported the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on key legislative matters in Parliament during its previous term at the Centre.

The Andhra Pradesh-based YSRCP and Odisha’s BJD continue to have a sizeable presence in the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP-led NDA does not have a majority, and their stand on issues can tilt the balance of power.

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi writes to LS Speaker seeking restoration of expunged remarks

BJD walks out

BJD leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sasmit Patra led his party colleagues on Wednesday, 3 July, in walking out of the Rajya Sabha, along with the opposition parties, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply to the Motion of Thanks on the president’s address to a joint sitting of Parliament.

Patra said neither President Droupadi Murmu’s address nor Modi’s reply had any mention of his party’s longstanding demand for special category status for Odisha.

He added that there was also no reflection of his party’s demand for an increase in coal royalty, and highway, railway and telecom presence in the eastern state, where the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD was in power for 24 years, before losing it to the BJP recently.

“It was just another, same routine reply from the prime minister, counting the same achievements of his government. It makes no sense to sit through another deliberation when the aspirations and demands of the people of Odisha find no presence,” Patra told PTI after the walkout.

The BJD has nine members in the 245-member House, while the YSRCP has 11. The BJD has no MP in the Lok Sabha, while the YSRCP has four members in the Lower House of Parliament.

Also Read: INDIA bloc parties walk out as PM says ‘people rejected propaganda, voted for performance’ in Rajya Sabha

YSRCP condemns Opposition

V Vijayasai Reddy, the YSRCP leader in the Rajya Sabha, condemned the opposition parties’ decision to stage protests in the Lok Sabha when Modi spoke there on Tuesday.

“It has to condemned,” he said, adding that the prime minister’s reply to the motion should have been heard patiently as he was only responding to questions raised by different MPs.

What the opposition has done is not in accordance with sound democratic principals and precedents in Parliament, Reddy said.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)

(South First is now on WhatsApp and Telegram)