Amid persistent demand from the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) for an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his “democracy under attack” remarks in London, party MP Shashi Tharoor stood by his colleague saying that the Wayanad MP hasn’t said anything he should apologise for.
“Democracy, in our country, is in danger and everyone should know about it. I didn’t hear anything wrong in it,” Tharoor said, as quoted by ANI.
“Rahul Gandhi never demanded foreign forces come to our country to save our democracy. He hasn’t said anything he should apologise for. It’s nonsense,” Tharoor added.
Further, Tharoor hit out at the ruckus created by the ruling party members in the House over Rahul’s remarks saying that the Parliament is not being allowed to function normally over a “non-issue”.
“It is the Government’s responsibility to run the Parliament. The Budget Session is ongoing, there’s a need to pass Finance Bill. When there are such important matters, you are not allowing Parliament to function over a non-issue,” he said.
Earlier, hitting out at BJP national president JP Nadda’s remarks on Rahul Gandhi calling him a “permanent part” of the “anti-nationalist toolkit”, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said that the BJP is “anti-national”.
“They (BJP) themselves are anti-national. They never took part in India’s freedom movement, worked for the Britishers and they are calling others anti-national? They are doing this to deviate from issues of unemployment and inflation. Can Rahul Gandhi ever be anti-national? Are people who debate about democracy anti-national?” Kharge told ANI.
“I condemn JP Nadda’s statement. There is no point of apologising. We will give a strong reply to this in the Parliament. Rahul Gandhi Ji will himself reply on this, that’s why they (BJP) are scared. Why are they not giving him a chance to speak in Parliament,” he said.
During his interactions in the UK, Rahul Gandhi had alleged that the structures of “Indian democracy are under attack” and there is a “full-scale assault” on the country’s institutions. The former Congress president also told British parliamentarians in London that microphones are often “turned off” in the Lok Sabha when an opposition member raises important issues.
Gandhi’s remarks triggered a political slugfest, leading to multiple adjournments in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha as the Budget Session of Parliament is underway, with the BJP accusing him of maligning India on foreign soil and seeking foreign interventions, and the Congress hitting back at the ruling party by citing instances of Modi raising internal politics abroad.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Congress launched a full-scale attack on the BJP alleging that live proceedings of the Lok Sabha were “muted” before being adjourned for the day.
The Congress shared a drawing of the Indian Parliament with the words “MUTED” written on it, and captioned it with a ‘sound off’ emoji.
Both the Houses were adjourned till 11 AM Monday, following ruckus by members of the Treasury and Opposition members over the Adani row and JPC probe into it, while the ruling BJP kept up its protests demanding an apology from Rahul Gandhi over his “democracy” remarks. This is the fifth straight day the Houses didn’t function normally, since the Budget Session resumed on Monday.