Leader of House and Union Minister Piyush Goyal said in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that while the opposition needs to be robust, it is not the responsibility of the ruling party to ensure its strength. Goyal, bidding farewell to retiring members of the Upper House, responded to Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge’s concerns about the weakening opposition.
He emphasized that the responsibility lies with the opposition to increase its numbers and win the hearts of the people, highlighting that obstructing India’s development journey won’t strengthen the opposition.
"I agree that the opposition should stay strong but that responsibility cannot be with the ruling side. That responsibility has to be of the opposition that it strongly increases its numbers. It needs to win over the hearts of the public. I think that by obstructing the development journey of India, by being jealous of the development of India, the opposition will not become strong," Goyal remarked in Rajya Sabha, according to PTI.
Goyal commended Kharge for sharing memories of Deve Gowda earlier in the day, which sparked moments of light-heartedness in the House.
Addressing concerns over perceived jealousy within the opposition towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives, Goyal noted that focusing on India’s progress should supersede any sense of rivalry.
Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar intervened, urging Goyal to replace the term. "jealousy" with "agony and pain" for the record.
"There was some jealousy and disappointment that their INDI Alliance was weakening. It cannot be our responsibility. If Deve Gowdaji notices that the honorable prime minister is working with a great vision and making important decisions in the interest of the country and to make it a developed country, and that the honorable Deve Gowdaji and his party are joining in, I believe there is no reason for jealousy," Goyal said, as reported by news agency PTI.
The session also saw speeches from various members, including Congress and BJP representatives. Former journalist Kumar Ketkar lamented the polarized environment in the Rajya Sabha, criticizing the atmosphere of hate. Dhankhar highlighted instances of derogatory remarks directed at him, urging for equitable treatment and introspection among members.
"Calling the chairman a political party cheerleader is the ultimate low point. I expected you to be fair-minded. You ignored what was right in front of you. We have also interacted. We must process a large number of things. If you go as a journalist, sit at your table and find out what has happened on a public platform and how I have suffered. I am sure people would think about that as well," Dhankhar was quoted as saying by PTI.