'It is the government's responsibility to see that the House functions during important sessions, which the government failed to do.'
Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore reports.
"How can we take a decision on an issue which we have no clue about yet?" asks Chandrakant Khaire, the Shiv Sena's Lok Sabha MP from Maharashtra's Aurangabad constituency when he is asked about forgoing salaries for 23 days When both Houses of Parliament did not function.
On Wednesday, April 4, evening, Bharatiya Janata Party MPs and their National Democratic Alliance allies said they would forego their salaries and allowances for 23 days -- the duration of the second half of the Budget session -- to protest the non-functioning of Parliament because of disruptions.
Khaire, the Sena MP, says his party -- the oldest member of the NDA after the BJP -- had not received any information from its alliance partner -- the BJP -- on the issue.
"Nobody from the BJP or the NDA spoke to us," Khaire says, reacting to reports that Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar had declared that all NDA MPs would sacrifice their pay for 23 days.
"It is silly to take such a decision," says Khaire. "Wouldn't it be better had they (both the BJP and Congress) allowed business to be transacted in Parliament?"
"Didn't we mark our attendance on these days? So why shouldn't we be paid for it?" Khaire asks.
On the issue of disruptions, Khaire blames the BJP and the Congress.
"It is the government's responsibility to see that the House functions during important sessions, which the government failed to do," the MP asserts.
Asked about the Opposition's concerted attempt to table the no-confidence motion against the Narendra D Modi government, Khaire says the Shiv Sena would remain neutral if such a motion is put to vote. The Sena has 18 Lok Sabha MPs.
The Sena, Khaire says, wanted to raise the loan waiver for Maharashtra's farmers, discuss how demonetisation affected the common man, seek a clarification on how much cash was deposited with the Reserve Bank of India after demonetisation and debate the problems of farmers from Maharashtra's Marathwada region.
"All these issues," adds Khaire, "are important for the people of Maharashtra."