Rahul Gandhi's remarks in Britain: Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha adjourned

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Representative Image / Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The row over Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi's remarks in Britain seeking intervention of the US and European nations over “disappearing” democracy in India disrupted the Lok Sabha for the second consecutive day on Tuesday.

Soon after the house assembled, BJP members raised slogans seeking an apology from Rahul Gandhi, while the Congress-led opposition waved placards with quotes from speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visits abroad.

"Rahul Gandhi maafi mango (Rahul Gandhi apologise)," BJP members shouted repeatedly from their seats. Some ministers, too, were on their feet.

Opposition members raised slogans from the aisles and avoided trooping into the well of the house.

"BRICS ka 'I' ludak raha hai (The 'I' in BRICS is tottering),” read one placard referring to the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa grouping.

"Pata nahi pehle janam main kya paap kiya tha, Hindustan main paida hua (Don't know what sin I had committed that I was born in India)," read another placard waved by a Congress member quoting the prime minister's speech in Seoul in May 2015.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla tried to take up the Question Hour and appealed to the members to uphold the dignity of the house.

Asking the Congress members, who were on their feet, to maintain decorum of the house and not show placards, Birla said they should let the Lok Sabha function.

"I will give the opportunity to raise issues after Question Hour. Question Hour is an important part of parliamentary proceedings. I will give you adequate opportunities, but after Question Hour. I urge you to return to your seats. I will allow every topic to be raised as per the rules," Birla said.

However, Congress members continued their protest following which the speaker adjourned the house till 2 pm. After resumption of the house, papers and standing committee reports were presented in the amid the ruckus.

The house was adjourned for the day within 10 minutes.

Gandhi recently alleged in London that the structures of Indian democracy are under brutal attack and there is a full-scale assault on the institutions of the country.

Demanding an apology from Gandhi for his remarks, the ruling BJP charged that the Congress leader has tried to defame India.

Lok Sabha proceedings were disrupted on Monday too, as the BJP-Congress slugfest escalated over Gandhi's remark. The government sought an apology while the opposition benches demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Adani-Hindenburg issue.

Meanwhile, Rahul's remarks also affected business in Rajya Sabha. The proceedings were adjourned for the day.

Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said a meeting of floor leaders has been called to discuss the issue.

When the Upper House reassembled at 2 pm after an earlier adjournment, Union Minister and Leader of the House Piyush Goyal reiterated the government's stance that Gandhi must apologise over his remarks.

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

"We have examined the situation. The constitutional provisions, the rules we have framed, the directives that have been imparted by earlier chairmen," Dhankhar said.

He said the directives imparted in the Lok Sabha have also been looked at.

"We are meeting the floor leaders today at 2.30 pm and I am sure you will get my ruling at the earliest, maybe during the course of the day or tomorrow (Wednesday)," Dhankhar added.

Earlier in the day, Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned till 2 pm after opposition members caused uproar over the government's demand for an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his democracy remarks.

The Upper House, which saw members cutting across party lines earlier during the session to congratulate India's Oscar winners, witnessed noisy scenes when Leader of the House and Union Minister Piyush Goyal, without naming Gandhi, alleged that he had insulted the Parliament and constitutional institutions and said he should tender an apology.


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