After major environmental concerns were raised over Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s World Culture Festival, there was heavy backlash against the mega fest in the Rajya Sabha today.The Opposition lashed out at the government for supporting the event and for granting permission despite environmental threat to the Ganga.Meanwhile, while addressing the Rajya Sabha, PM Narendra Modi appreciated the cooperation of members in the present session and said unlike previous sessions, the proceedings were going on smoothly during the ongoing Budget Session.The prime minister on Wednesday equated the Congress party with “mrityu (death)” but hastened to add that like death is never subjected to criticism, the Congress party also goes unscathed.PM Modi addresses Rajya Sabha, here are the highlights:- I’m not an economist like Manmohan Singh, that’s why I am not that knowledgeable. But I do know some things.Cleanliness is becoming a mass movement.- Our focus is on job creation, new start-ups.- There are two kinds of the people in the world, one who work and the others who only take credit. I’m not saying this, Indira Gandhi has said this.- Effective or last mile delivery is what we are working on.- Decentralisation is the third aspect of good governance.- We are focussing on accountability. I am reviewing infra projects and also looking into projects that were stalled for decades.- PM Modi appeals for smooth clearance of all pending bills in Rajya Sabha, says it will give momentum to country’s progress. – Respect the President’s advice, both the Houses must function smoothly.advertisement- Coordination between both Houses is essential.- We need to worry about the lack of educational facilities and overcome these challenges.- Congress can never get a bad name it seems.- There is a funny thing about ‘death’, no one blames death. Instead, they blame the reason behind one’s death.-When we criticise the Congress, it is reported as ‘criticism on the Opposition, not criticism on the Congress’. Congress never gets a bad name.- I want to thank Opposition members for the smooth running of Parliament.- After a long time, members sat for hours in House.- PM thanks opposition for allowing Parliament to function.JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha against permission being granted for the event in the first place.Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also lashed out at the government for the event, saying it can destroy river Yamuna. He even raised security concern issues over celebration of World Cultural Festival.CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury also questioned the deployment of Army to build bridges at the festival.Meanwhile, Lok Sabha is also likely to witness fireworks today on the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.The BJP has already given a calling attention notice on the change in Ishrat Jahan affidavit, which in simple terms means they want the House to discuss why former finance minister P Chidambaram allegedly changed the Ishrat affidavit.This comes after former home secretary GK Pillai’s claim that Chidambaram got Ishrat Jahan’s Lashkar link dropped in the second affidavit when he was the Home Minister in 2009.Chidambaram has denied the allegations and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has also said the party stands by him.Opposition Congress has already issued a whip asking all party members in the Upper House to be present during Prime Minister Modi’s reply on the motion. The party may move amendments to the motion of thanks to the President’s address, in a bid to embarrass the government.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also expected to make statement in the Upper House on the Jat reservation agitation.