Parliament’s Budget Session off to stormy start: BJP seeks Rahul Gandhi’s apology, Opposition demands JPC on Adani

The Centre has claimed in Parliament that Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on the country’s democracy and Parliament during his London visit amounted to “insulting” India.

BJP leader and Rajya Sabha leader of House Piyush Goyal (L), Congress president and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge (R).
BJP leader and Rajya Sabha leader of House Piyush Goyal (L), Congress president and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge (R).

The second leg of the Budget Session of Parliament got off to a fiery start with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress trading charges on various issues. While the BJP sought to corner the Congress, demanding an apology from Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi for “insulting” India in his speeches during his recent visit to London, UK, the Congress and other Opposition parties continued to press for their demand for a probe into the Adani issue by a Joint Parliamentary Committee and raised slogans in the House.

Both Houses of Parliament, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were adjourned till 2 PM amid a ruckus by the Treasury as well as the Opposition benches. Speaking in the Lok Sabha earlier today, Union Defence minister Rajnath Singh accused Congress MP Rahul Gandhi of “insulting India abroad” and demanded that the leader issue an apology in the House.

“Rahul Gandhi, who is a member of this House, insulted India in London. I demand that his statements should be condemned by all members of this House and he should be asked to apologise before the House,” Rajnath said, addressing the Lok Sabha.

A similar demand was raised by Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal who launched a scathing attack against Rahul in the Upper House over his remarks in London. “A prominent Opposition leader goes abroad and attacks Indian democracy. He has insulted the people of India and the Parliament. There is freedom of speech in India and MPs can speak in Parliament. We demand that Rahul Gandhi comes to the Parliament and offers an apology to the people of the nation and the House,” the Union minister said.

The remarks were met with a fiery response by Congress president and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge who lent his support to Rahul’s remarks and further claimed that the Narendra Modi government at the Centre was running the country “like a dictatorship”.

“There is no rule of law and democracy under Modi ji. They (BJP) are running the country like a dictatorship, and then they talk about democracy,” Kharge said.

During his recently-concluded visit to London, Rahul led a no-holds-barred attack against PM Modi, BJP and its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Rahul had on March 6 told British parliamentarians in London that functioning microphones in the Lok Sabha are often silenced against the Opposition. In his Cambridge speech earlier, Rahul claimed that democracy in India is under attack and opposition leaders are not allowed to speak in Parliament. Later, the remarks became a major flashpoint between the BJP and the Congress.

The Opposition, on the other hand, has kept the pressure on the government over its demand for a JPC or CJI-monitored probe into the allegations of stock manipulation against industrialist Gautam Adani-led Adani Group. Leaders of several Opposition parties are also heard raising slogans in both Houses of Parliament seeking to corner the government over alleged links between Prime Minister Modi and billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani.

Notably, on March 3, the Supreme Court set up a 6-member independent panel to probe regulatory failures related to allegations levelled by U.S.-based Hindenburg Research in its report on the Adani Group released on January 24.

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.

First published on: 13-03-2023 at 12:45 IST
Exit mobile version