Accusing the Congress party of taking parliamentary proceedings "to a new low", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced a fast by BJP MPs on April 12 to protest the impasse caused by the opposition party in Parliament. He said that the Congress was "throttling" democracy and "abusing" people's mandate.
The Parliament witnessed a complete washout of the second half of the Budget Session that ended on Friday.
Addressing BJP MPs on the party's 38th foundation day, Modi said parliamentary proceedings stooped to a new low owing to the conduct of the Congress. The opposition resorted to disrupting Parliament as it had no issue to raised, he said.
Calling upon party lawmakers and ministers expose such parties, he said such a disruption during a prime minister's speech was unprecedented. All BJP MPs will observe a day-long fast on April 12 to protest the opposition's conduct in Parliament, Modi said.
Modi had replied in both Houses during the session's first half. He said he continued with his speech for over 90 minutes for the sake of democracy amid relentless protests by opposition MPs, according to sources.
The prime minister then told his party’s MPs to reach out to villages with substantial Dalit and tribal population through implementation of his government's seven key welfare schemes.
The BJP, Modi said, will observe the birth anniversary of Jyotiba Phule, a social reformer who came from a backward caste, on April 11 as 'Samta Diwas' (equality day).
He also stressed on the need for all MPs to organise events to mark the birth anniversary of Bhimrao Ambedkar, a Dalit icon, on April 14, asserting that it is mandatory for them to do so, sources said.
The BJP and its top brass have been underlining the party's commitment to the welfare of Dalits and works of the Modi government to highlight Ambedkar's legacy at a time when opposition parties have accused the ruling party of being anti-Dalit.
Noting that the party has announced 'Gram Swaraj Abhiyan' between April 14 and May 5, he asked BJP law-makers to ensure total implementation of seven welfare schemes of his government in villages, especially the ones with population of over a thousand, sources said.
With the BJP celebrating its 38th foundation day, Modi said it has become the largest party due to the people's blessings and tireless efforts of its workers and also paid tributes to many of its late leaders and workers.
The foundation day is dedicated to those who sacrificed their lives for the party's growth, the prime minister said. It has risen due to its work for the nation's development. The BJP did not focus on casteism or dynasty, he said.
The BJP had been treated as an "untouchable" party by others when it was founded in 1980 but it has become strong due to people's faith in it. "People have taken us to this level and now we have to live for them," he said.
Modi also asked party MPs to see a drama on Maratha king Shivaji being performed in Delhi, and noted that he had travelled to Pune from Gujarat almost 30 years ago to see it.
(With inputs from agencies)