Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his comments regarding microphones of Opposition being turned off in Parliament, saying there cannot be a bigger lie to set a narrative.
He said such a thing was done during the "black chapter" of Emergency, but it is not possible now.
Temples of democracy cannot be allowed to be outraged, said the vice president and lamented that "some people" are trying to undermine the achievements of the country due to their short-sightedness.
"Democratic values are important and we cannot allow temples of democracy to be outraged as we are the mother of democracy," Dhankhar, who is the chairman of Rajya Sabha, said while addressing a gathering at the Chaudhary Charan Singh University here.
On Gandhi's microphone remarks, the vice president, without naming him, said, "There cannot be a bigger lie when someone tries to set a narrative by saying that in the biggest panchayat, the Parliament, mics are switched off."
"Out of short-sightedness, some people do not display control over their voice and say anything in order to undermine the massive achievements of this great nation," he said at an 'ayurveda mahakumbh' at the varsity.
The Congress leader told British parliamentarians in London on Monday that functioning microphones in Lok Sabha are often silenced against the Opposition. He had made the comment during an event organised by veteran Indian-origin Opposition Labour Party MP Virendra Sharma in the Grand Committee Room within the House of Commons complex.
Dhankhar said it was his constitutional duty "to indicate to the world at large that mics are not switched off in India's Parliament"."There was a time when it was done and it was a black chapter that we call Emergency, but it is not possible now," he said.
The vice president also said it is "saddening" to see that some people say "what is going on in the country". Which other country can claim that their judiciary acts with lightning speed, but "our Supreme Court does work like this", he said.
"We are the world's most functional democracy, no other country can make such a claim that they have democracy from panchayat (grassroots) to municipality to state and up to the Centre. There can be opinions but it (India's democracy) is vibrant and functional," Dhankar said.
During his UK visit, Gandhi had also alleged that the media, the institutional frameworks, judiciary, Parliament is all under attack. He had also expressed regret that democratic parts of the world, including the US and Europe, have failed to notice that a "large chunk of democracy has come undone".
Dhankhar during a book launch on Thursday had also attacked Gandhi on his microphone remarks and said he would be on the "wrong side" of the Constitution if he stayed silent on the issue.
"The world is applauding our historic accomplishments and functional, vibrant democracy. Some amongst us, including parliamentarians, in overdrive are engaged in thoughtless, unfair denigration of our well nurtured democratic values," he had said.
The Congress had hit back at Dhankhar for his criticism of Gandhi's remarks, saying that the Rajya Sabha chairman is an umpire and cannot be a cheerleader for any ruling dispensation.
At the Saturday event, while stressing on democratic values, Dhankhar said the behaviour of legislators in Parliament and state legislatures should be "exemplary" as these are places of "debate, dialogue, discussion, deliberation and not of disruption and disturbance".
The vice president also cited that "the Constitution makers deliberated and discussed contentious and divisive issues for three years but not a (single) member came into the Well, showed placards or raised slogans, (but) why is it today just the opposite".
He also lauded Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the recently concluded Global Investors' Summit, saying, "India is today setting a global discourse, see the investment summit in your state and its dimensions."
"India has taken a big leap because of the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi...," Dhankhar said, adding that Uttar Pradesh is the backbone of Indian democracy.
To the youth he said, "It is our good fortune that we are in the 'amrit kaal' of India, youth are the warriors of 2047, you will decide how India will be in 2047." "You cannot stay silent on some issues concerning this great country," the vice president said.
-With PTI Input