Rajya Sabha adjourned for day as din continues on Rahul Gandhi’s London remarks

13 March, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Rahul National

The Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar announced the House's second adjournment.

The Rajya Sabha’s proceedings were disrupted on Monday as the House adjourned for the day amid uproar over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on democracy in India in London, with the government seeking his apology and the Opposition party objecting to the rulings.

The Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar announced the House’s second adjournment as members of both the treasury benches and the opposition continued to raise slogans against each other, causing a ruckus. The Rajya Sabha reconvened at 2 p.m. following the first round of adjournment over Gandhi’s remarks in London on democracy in India during his visit to Cambridge.

In a veiled attack, Rajya Sabha Leader Piyush Goyal said, “this is a matter of grave concern and he (Rahul Gandhi) should be strongly condemned.”

Goyal claimed that the Lok Sabha member insulted India during his foreign trip and demanded an apology from him in Parliament. Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge read two separate rulings, pointing out that matters pertaining to members of another House cannot be raised in this House and demanding that “whatever the Leader of the House said in the House should be expunged.”

The Rajya Sabha Chairman adjourned the House until 11 a.m. on March 14 amid the din. Earlier in the day, shortly after the papers were placed on the table, Goyal raised the issue, claiming that one of the opposition party’s leaders spoke against India’s judiciary, Army, and media.

Goyal called the statement a “murder of India’s democracy” and demanded that the leader (Rahul Gandhi) “come in Parliament and apologise.” “It is unfortunate that from the soil of London, questions are being raised on Indian democracy,” Goyal had said.

Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, then added, “It is wrong to comment on someone who is not a member of this House.”

The House was then adjourned until 2 p.m., despite the Rajya Sabha Chairman’s efforts to resolve the issue for the smooth operation of the House proceedings. Gandhi’s remarks at his alma mater, Cambridge University, that Indian democracy is under attack and that several politicians, including himself, are being watched, have become the latest point of contention between the Congress and the BJP.

After multiple electoral defeats, the BJP has accused him of “defaming” the country abroad. Gandhi responded by accusing the Prime Minister of undermining the country’s achievements since independence.