The BJP is all set to intensify its attack on Congress’s Rahul Gandhi over his recent comments on Indian democracy at Cambridge University. Party sources have said they won’t allow Mr Gandhi to speak unless he apologises.
A party MP, Nishikant Dubey, has called for the formation of a special committee to look into Mr Gandhi’s statements, which, his party contends, is an insult to Parliament, democracy and the country’s institutions. The committee, Mr Dubey has said, should help end Mr Gandhi’s Lok Sabha membership.
Speaking about this, Mr Dubey had drawn a parallel with the special committee of 2005, which had looked into the cash for parliament questions scam and terminated the membership of 11 MPs. The committee said they had hurt the dignity of the Parliament and its decision was upheld by the Supreme Court, Mr Dubey said.
Rahul Gandhi, he added, has continuously tarnished the dignity of Parliament and the country with his remarks in Europe and America, and so, the time has come to “expel” him from the Parliament.
Last week too, Mr Dubey had sought termination of Mr Gandhi’s membership from Lok Sabha while deposing before a parliamentary panel over his privilege notice against the Congress leader, news agency Press Trust of India had reported, quoting sources.
The MP had moved the privilege notice, following Mr Gandhi’s speech in the first part of the Budget Session, in which he commented on the Hindenburg-Adani issue.
Earlier today, eight Union ministers met Defense Minister Rajnath Singh at Parliament House to discuss how to take forward the matter against Mr Gandhi.
Every morning for the last four days, a cabinet minister has spearheaded the attack on Mr Gandhi before the media. It is the turn of Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat next.
The BJP demand for an apology and the Congress refusal to offer one has been one of the prime reasons for the logjam in Parliament in the second half of the budget session. Mr Gandhi has repeatedly insisted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had often attacked the country’s achievements during the Congress rule on his trips abroad.
Today, Rahul Gandhi said he “hoped” he would be allowed to respond to the BJP’s allegations in parliament. “But I don’t think they will let me speak,” he said.
“If the Indian democracy was functioning, I would be able to say my piece in parliament. What you are seeing is a test of the Indian democracy. Whether an MP is going to be given the same space as those four ministers were given when they raised allegations against me,” he said.
At the Cambridge University, Mr Gandhi had said the Indian democracy is under pressure and opposition voices are being stifled. “The institutional framework which is required for democracy — Parliament, free press, and the judiciary, just the idea of mobilisation, and moving around all are getting constrained. So, we are facing an attack on the basic structure of Indian democracy,” he had said.