Saturday, April 20, 2024

Uproar in Parliament over Rahul’s remarks on democracy; both Houses adjourned

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Both houses of the Parliament were adjourned till 2 pm on Monday amid uproar over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on democracy, with the government demanding his apology.

As soon as 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 the 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.

Meanwhile, in the Rajya Sabha, BJP and opposition lawmakers traded charges over the Wayanad MP’s statement. 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 Gandhi’s name, Goyal said that the Indian democracy was in danger during the Emergency and when the Congress leader tore up a copy of the legislation.

His 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.

Gandhi, during the UK visit, had alleged that the structures of Indian democracy were under “brutal attack” and there was a full-scale assault on the institutions of the country.

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