Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday slammed the Opposition parties, especially the Congress for boycotting President Ram Nath Kovind's address to the Parliament and asked "what kind of precedent and tradition they are leaving for the country?"
Speaking to the media after the President's address, Prasad said: "He is the President and he is entitled to our respect. It is a matter of great regret today that the Opposition sought to boycott it but more particularly the irresponsible role of Congress where they had ruled India for almost 50 years and still has the government in many Indian states."
"What kind of precedent and tradition the Congress is leaving for the country, that is a very important issue to be reflected upon today," he said.
Pointing out the slogans being raised by the Congress Punjab Lok Sabha MP Ravneet Bittu, Prasad said, "One of their members Bittu shouted slogans inside the central hall, another member of the AAP party (Bhagwant) Mann sought to push the doors to create a commotion."
'We never chose to boycott the President's address because of the respect we hold'
He said that the BJP have also been in Opposition for a long time. "We had serious concerns about the deeds, misdeeds and curbs from the UPA government but we never chose to boycott the President's address because of the respect we hold for the office of the President," he added.
His remarks came after the 18 Opposition parties including Congress chose to boycott the President's address in solidarity with the farmers agitation over the three farm laws.
During the President's address to the Parliament, Bittu raised slogans inside the Central Hall in favour of farmers.