South Asia

Sonia Gandhi lambasts India's opposition

Sonia Gandhi
Image caption Attacks on the opposition are rare from Sonia Gandhi

India Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi has bitterly criticised the opposition BJP at the end of a parliamentary session devoid of work.

Addressing the Congress parliamentary party on the last day of the winter session of parliament, she accused the BJP of "denigrating parliament".

She said the alliance of opposition parties were "overlooking, brushing aside or supporting... corruption".

The opposition almost daily disrupted the four-week parliamentary session.

The alliance of opposition parties led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) organised regular walkouts in protest over numerous corruption scandals, most prominent of which was the resignation of the telecoms minister last month following allegations that he had undersold billions of dollars worth of mobile phone licences.

The opposition is angered by the government's refusal to hold a joint inquiry into the scandal.

At each parliamentary sitting, noisy opposition lawmakers spilled onto the floor of parliament, chanted anti-government slogans and demanded a parliamentary committee be formed to investigate.

The Speaker then adjourned proceedings until the next day, hoping for a resolution.

Senior BJP leader LK Advani justified the tactics, arguing that sometimes blocking legislative action "yields results".

The government has rejected the opposition's demand for a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the telecoms scandal, arguing that the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Supreme Court are both looking into it.

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