The row over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks in Britain seeking intervention of the US and European nations over “disappearing” democracy in India disrupted in both the Houses of Parliament for the second consecutive day on Tuesday.
Soon after the Lok Sabha 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. 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.
For the second consecutive day, the Rajya Sabha too faced adjournment amid pandemonium as treasury benches sought an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his remarks in London on democracy in India and the Opposition objecting to the matter and demanding a Joint Parliamentary probe into the Adani Group.
The ruckus started almost an hour after the proceedings began, which included the tabling of papers and participation of members in a discussion on RRR’s ‘Naatu Naatu’ song and short film ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ both of whom won the prestigious Oscar Award. In a veiled attack on Rahul Gandhi, Leader of the Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal raised the matter, pointing “this is the first time” that a Member of Parliament used words against the democracy of India while his visit outside the country, and sought his apology.
“He (Rahul Gandhi) should aplologise…,” said Goyal.
However, the Opposition members sought a probe into the Adani Group by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), and accused the Centre of being silent on a report by a US firm that alleged stock manipulation and accounting fraud by the group.
The members on both sides– the Opposition and the treasury benches– were sloganeering leading to chaos in the Upper House.