Sunday, Jun 04, 2023

Budget Session: Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha Adjourned After Ruckus Over Rahul Gandhi's Comments In UK

Budget Session: Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha Adjourned After Ruckus Over Rahul Gandhi's Comments In UK

In his weeklong visit to UK, Rahul Gandhi criticised the state of Indian democracy under Narendra Modi government and called Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) a 'fascist' organisation and compared it with the the Muslim Brotherhood.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at an event in UK
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at an event in UK Twitter/Congress

The proceedings of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned on Monday after ruckus between the government and Opposition.

After a month-long recess, the Parliament's Budget Session resumed on Monday, but both the houses were adjourned as the Treasury benches and Opposition traded charges over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's comments in the United Kingdom (UK).

During his weeklong visit to UK this month, Rahul criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) over their democratic credentials and alleged misuse of investigative agencies. Ever since he made the comments, the BJP has latched onto the comments and has termed it as a national insult and has demanded an apology from him.

As the House re-convened at 2 PM, BJP MPs and those from the treasury benches raised slogans seeking an apology from Gandhi over his remarks. The Opposition benches hit back, shouting slogans demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Adani-Hindenburg issue.

Papers and standing committee reports were tabled amid constant sloganeering from both sides and after that several MPs rushed to the Well of the House. With MPs not heeding to repeated requests by Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the Chair, to let the House function, he adjourned the House for the day.

The BJP-led Union government sought condemnation of Rahul's comments on state of Indian democracy in Lok Sabha and asked him to apologise.

Senior BJP leader and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that Rahul "insulted" India in London with his comments.

Union minister Giriraj Singh demanded that a sedition case should be registered against Rahul for his comments.

In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the House and Union minister Piyush Goyal demanded that Gandhi come to the House and apologise for his "rubbish" statements made in London. 

Without taking Rahul's name, Goyal said that the Indian democracy was in danger during the Emergency and when the Congress leader tore up a copy of a legislation.

Goyal's statement was countered by Leader of the Opposition and Congress president M Mallikarjun Kharge, who said the demand to call a leader who is not a member of Rajya Sabha to the House is condemnable. Kharge went on to recall Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement abroad but was interrupted by treasury benches. At this point, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar adjourned the proceedings of the House till 2 pm.

As soon the second part of the Budget session of the House started, Defence Minister and Deputy Leader of the Lok Sabha Rajnath Singh stood up, and said Gandhi has tried to “defame” India in London through his remarks on Indian democracy.

This House should condemn his remarks and he should tender an apology, Singh demanded.

Singh alleged that Gandhi sought foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the country, which should be condemned unequivocally.

The defence minister's demand was supported by ruling alliance members.

A similar statement was also made by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, who asked where was democracy when fundamental rights were "trampled” (during Emergency) and where was democracy when an ordinance, duly approved by the Union Cabinet, was torn (by Rahul Gandhi during the UPA government).

Speaker Om Birla said democracy in India is strong and getting stronger.

As Congress members protested strongly, the speaker adjourned the House till 2 pm. 

In UK, Rahul called BJP's ideological parent RSS a "fascist" organisation and a secret society and compared it to the Islamist organisation Muslim Brotherhood. 

(With PTI inputs)