Rahul Gandhi writes to speaker, seeking permission to respond to “scurrilous” allegations by centrer
21 March, 2023 | Amish Mahajan
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday again wrote to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, seeking permission to speak in the Lower House to respond to the allegations levelled at him by the Bharatiya Jana...
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday again wrote to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, seeking permission to speak in the Lower House to respond to the allegations levelled at him by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre.
Addressing the Lok Sabha speaker, Rahul Gandhi said in the letter, “I had written to you on March 17 seeking your permission to respond to totally baseless and unfair charges hurled at me by senior ministers in the Lok Sabha”. “I am making such a request again. I am seeking this permission under the conventions of Parliamentary practice, the constitutionally embedded rules of natural justice and Rule 357 of the Rules and Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha,” he added.
He said that the Rule 357 of the Rules and Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha allows him to respond to the allegations in the Parliament.
Citing Rule 357, Rahul Gandhi stated, “A member may, with the speaker’s permission, make a personal explanation although there is no question before the House, in this case, no debatable matter may be brought forward, and no debate shall arise”.
Hitting out at the ruling regime, the Congress leader called the allegations against him “scurrilous” and “defamatory”.
The letter stated, “Members of the ruling regime have made scurrilous and defamatory claims against me both within and outside Parliament. As a result of these allegations and the rules invoked by these individuals, it is only appropriate that you kindly give me a right to reply as contained in Rule 357, which allows for personal explanations”.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi levelled serious allegations against the Centre during several interactions during his visit to the United Kingdom.
His remarks have become the latest flashpoint between Congress and the BJP. The ruling party has accused him of “defaming” the country and demanded an “apology” from the Wayanad MP.
While addressing a lecture at his alma mater Cambridge University in London, Rahul Gandhi said, “Everybody knows, and it’s been in the news a lot, that Indian democracy is under pressure and attack. I am an Opposition leader in India, we are navigating that (Opposition) space. The institutional framework which is required for democracy, Parliament, free press, the judiciary, just the idea of mobilisation, moving around all are getting constrained. So, we are facing an attack on the basic structure of Indian democracy.”
Previously, during the interaction at the Chatham House in London recently, Rahul Gandhi alleged that the microphones of Opposition leaders in Parliament are often silenced. He attacked the BJP-led government at the Centre and levelled several allegations.
The Congress leader also alleged that various institutions in the country were under threat.”It shocked me how successful they have been at capturing the different institutions of our country. Press, Judiciary, Parliament, and Election Commission are all under threat and are controlled in one way or the other,” Rahul Gandhi said.
He also termed the RSS a “fundamentalist” and “fascist” organisation, alleging that it has captured almost all of India’s institutions.
The second leg of the Budget session has faced repeated disruptions due to the continued logjam between the ruling party and the Opposition. While BJP has demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi, the Opposition has stood by their demand for a JPC probe into the Adani issue.
The second leg of the Budget session commenced on March 13 and will conclude on April 6.