Parliament adjourned after BJP seeks apology from Rahul Gandhi for his remarks in Britain
The Congress MP had claimed that India was facing an attack on the basic structure of its democracy.
Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned till 2 pm on Monday after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party demanded an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his speeches in the United Kingdom.
During his visit, Gandhi had claimed that India was facing an attack on the basic structure of its democracy. He had alleged that microphones of Opposition leaders were muted in Parliament and had also termed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as a “fundamentalist” and “fascist” organisation.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is the parent organisation and the ideological backbone of a host of Hindutva groups, including the BJP.
On Monday, as the House convened for the second leg of the Budget Session, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in the Lok Sabha alleged that Gandhi’s remarks were an insult to the country.
“I demand that his [Gandhi’s] statements should be condemned by all members of this House,” Singh said. “He should be asked to apologise before the House.”
Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said that Gandhi must be reminded of the Emergency invoked by the Congress in 1975, during which the rights of individuals were suspended.
Opposition members then approached the Well of the House in protest, following which Speaker Om Birla adjourned the Session.
In the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister Piyush Goyal sought an apology from Gandhi.
“A prominent Opposition leader goes abroad and attacks Indian democracy,” Goyal said. “He has insulted the people of India and the Parliament. There is freedom of speech in India and MPs can speak in Parliament.”
Congress chief and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge claimed that microphones were switched off when the party had raised the issue of allegations against industrialist Gautam Adani.
“There is no rule of law and democracy under Modi,” Kharge said, according to ANI. “They are running the country like a dictatorship, and then they talk about democracy.”
The first leg of the Budget Session of Parliament, which ended on February 13, witnessed repeated adjournments and uproars, with Opposition parties demanding a joint parliamentary committee investigation into allegations of unfair business practices by the Adani Group.
The conglomerate led by tycoon Gautam Adani has lost about $120 billion in market value since a January 24 report by United States-based firm Hindenburg Research alleged that it had engaged in stock manipulation and accounting fraud to pull off the “largest con in corporate history”.
Opposition leaders have accused the Modi government of favouring the conglomerate in business deals. But Union Home Minister Amit Shah has rejected the allegations, saying the Bhartiya Janata Party has “nothing to hide or be afraid of”.