Bharatiya Janata Party MP Ramesh Bidhuri has been summoned by the Lok Sabha Privileges Committee for the communal slurs that he used against Bahujan Samaj Party legislator Danish Ali in the Lok Sabha on September 21.
Bidhuri, the BJP MP from South Delhi, made the remarks during a debate on the success of India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission. “Throw this ‘mullah’ out,” Bidhuri said. “This mullah is a terrorist.”
BJP MPs and former ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Harsh Vardhan were seen laughing as Bidhuri made the remarks. Days after the incident, Bidhuri was appointed as the BJP’s poll in-charge for Rajasthan’s Tonk district.
The BJP leader skipped the previous summons on October 11 citing a prior engagement in poll-bound Rajasthan. Bidhuri has now been asked to depose before the committee on December 7.
On September 24, Ali wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla seeking an investigtion against Bidhuri. “During the course of his speech, he directed the most foul, abusive invectives against me which are part of the record of the Lok Sabha,” he wrote.
The committee will also question Ali in response to a complaint by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey. On September 24, Dubey had wrote to the Speaker alleging that Ali’s remarks about the prime minister instigated Bidhuri to use blatantly communal slurs in Parliament.
“[The] statement made by Danish Ali, I think, was more than enough for any patriotic public representative to lose his calm and it led to Bidhuri responding to him like he did,” Dubey wrote.
The Lok Sabha Privileges Committee presides over all matters relating to a “breach of privilege” by members. Parliamentary privilege refers to certain rights that MPs enjoy as part of their role, which includes the right to free speech.