An unambiguous apology from Rahul Gandhi can end the logjam in Parliament, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Monday as he slammed the Congress leader for his recent remarks in the United Kingdom.
Addressing a press conference, the BJP leader categorically rejected Gandhi's claims on the prevailing situation in India and urged him to clarify if he was "playing to an agenda”.
During his interactions in the United Kingdom recently, Gandhi alleged that the structures of Indian democracy are under attack and there is a "full-scale assault" on the country's institutions.
His remarks triggered a massive political row, with the BJP accusing him of maligning India on foreign soil and seeking foreign interventions and the Congress hitting back, citing instances of Prime Minister Modi raising internal politics abroad.
“If any individual goes outside the country, he has the freedom to speak. But along with that freedom of speech comes the need to have a sense of responsibility,” Puri said. He said India is the world's largest and oldest democracy and there is no doubt about that.
“But for Mr Gandhi to go to the United Kingdom and say that the basic structure of Indian democracy is facing attack... Anyone who suggests, even as a private citizen, that Indian democracy is under threat, requires serious introspection,” Puri added.
The Housing and Urban Affairs minister demanded that the Congress leader unequivocally apologise for his remarks to bring the issue to a closure.
“To begin with, I think, you need closure and the closure will only come if he apologises. And, he should apologise categorically, unequivocally,” he demanded.
When asked how the logjam in Parliament would end, the minister said, “This is absolutely a call that he (Gandhi) has to make.”
“He should apologise unambiguously and say that he made a mistake and hence, he apologises,” he said, adding “My understanding is that it will pave the way and facilitate the functioning of Parliament.”