Parliament continues to face disruptions; Congress to protests against BJP-led govt
29 March, 2023 | Pragati Singh
Rahul Gandhi had been convicted by the court of "abusing" the OBC community.
The war of words between the Congress and the BJP over Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha and the JPC’s demand over the Adani issue continued on Thursday, with both Houses adjourning.
Following opposition protests, both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day. The two Houses had previously been adjourned until 2 p.m. Some members of the opposition continued their “black” protest, which began on Monday.
After apologising to the Supreme Court of India for his previous remarks, the Bharatiya Janata Party launched a new attack on Rahul Gandhi outside Parliament on Tuesday, claiming that the Congress leader was “pretending not to be a coward.”
Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said at a press conference that Rahul Gandhi had been convicted by the court of “abusing” the OBC community.
“He (Rahul Gandhi) abused and accused PM Modi in Parliament but could not verify his own statement by authenticating it with his own signature. He is the man who apologised to the Supreme Court and pretends today not to be a coward. Rahul Gandhi has been convicted by the court, for not abusing an individual but the OBC community is known to every citizen of our country,” she said.
“In an attempt to insult PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi also insulted the entire OBC community. This is not the first time Gandhi family has tried to insult people from Dalit or backward communities. Rahul Gandhi could not develop the humility to beg the forgiveness of the OBC community in our country is just another manifestation of the political arrogance called the Gandhi family,” she added.
Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a Lok Sabha MP on Friday after being convicted in a criminal defamation case by a Surat court. A day later, at a press conference, Gandhi stated that he would not apologise for the BJP’s demand.
“My name is not Savarkar, my name is Gandhi and Gandhi does not offer an apology to anyone,” he had said.
Rahul Gandhi apologised unconditionally in the Supreme Court in May 2019 for his ‘Chowkidar Chor hai’ remark about Prime Minister Modi.
Irani stated in a previous interview with Rahul Gandhi that he had vowed to destroy Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image but had failed.
“Rahul Gandhi in a magazine interview said that Modi Ji’s strength is his image and he will destroy that image. He said that he will keep attacking PM Modi’s image until he destroys it. The Gandhi family tried to malign the image of PM Narendra Modi when they were in power but they failed miserably. Rahul Gandhi’s promise to a magazine editor to rip Modi’s image apart is a promise that shall remain unfulfilled because PM Modi’s greatest strength is the people of India,” she said.
When asked about a notice served on Rahul Gandhi by the Lok Sabha Housing Committee to vacate the government bungalow allotted to him,Irani said, “The house does not belong to him, it belongs to the common people.” In response, Congress leaders claimed that the BJP government was “scared” of questions about Adani.
Following Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification, opposition parties attacked the government, marching from the Parliament complex to Vijay Chowk on Monday. According to sources, opposition parties may file a no-confidence motion against Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday. The proposal was discussed at a meeting of Congress MPs, and the party is in talks with other Opposition parties about it.
The Congress had planned an evening march from the Red Fort to Town Hall in the national capital as part of its campaign against the government over Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification and to “save democracy.” As the party attempted to stage the protest march, several Congress workers and leaders were “detained” by police.
The party leaders staged a protest at Chandani Chowk, shouting anti-government slogans. According to Congress leader Harish Rawat, the central government is “frightened” of Opposition unity.
“We wanted to take out ‘Mashaal March’ but so many police personnel were deployed & people were detained. Central govt is scared of Opposition unity. We’ll take the issue to blocks, villages. Democracy is in danger, we need to protect it:,” he said.
Police stopped party workers, according to party leader KC Venugopal.
“You should see the plight of democracy in the country. We are doing a peaceful torchlight march. Yesterday we discussed this with police & commissioners & they agreed. Today, they stopped our workers everywhere,” he said.
The party has planned protests and press conferences across the country as part of its campaign against the government on the Adani issue, “to save democracy,” and in solidarity with Rahul Gandhi.
The party’s month-long campaign includes press conferences in 35 major cities by national-level leaders, Jai Bharat Satyagraha at the district and state levels, and Jai Bharat Maha Satyagraha at the national level.
The party intends to launch a public campaign to send postcards to Prime Minister Modi “questioning him on relevant issues.”
The second part of the budget session has been disrupted by the Opposition’s demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Adani-Hindenburg row and the BJP’s demand for Rahul Gandhi to apologise for his remarks in the United Kingdom.