New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who appeared in Parliament for the first time on Thursday amid the ongoing row over his remarks on Indian democracy in the UK, alleged that the Centre is “scared” of the Adani issue which is why it has “prepared the entire ‘tamasha’ (drama)”.
The Congress leader said that he conveyed his message to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla about speaking in the House, and added that he felt that he would not be allowed to speak in the Parliament.
Gandhi turned up in the Parliament today for the first time after returning to India from his UK visit. The Ministers in the government have been demanding an apology from the Congress leader for his alleged “anti-India” remarks.
— Congress (@INCIndia) March 16, 2023
Addressing the media after Parliament adjournment here, Gandhi said that it is his right to speak in the Parliament where allegations have been levelled against him.
“I told Speaker today that I want to speak in the Parliament. Four Ministers of the government have leveled allegations against me in the House. It is my right to speak. There is no clarity, but I don’t think that he will let me speak. I am hopeful that he will let me speak tomorrow. He adjourned the House within one minute of my arrival. I want to put forth my stand,” he said.
Referring to the expunged speech in Lok Sabha in the first half of the ongoing Budget Session, the Wayanad MP claimed that he had stated everything in his speech which was already in the public domain.
“The idea is that in the speech that I delivered in the Parliament House a few days ago on Adani and his relationship with PM Modi, I asked questions. The entire speech was expunged. There was nothing in that speech that I had not carved from the public record, from the newspapers, statements of various people. But it was expunged,” he said further suggesting that the entire issue of demanding an apology from him was a “distraction”.
The Modi government uses many distraction tactics to avoid being questioned on the Adani scandal.
But we will continue to ask: what is the relationship between PM Modi and Adani? pic.twitter.com/5MiWuS79lQ
— Congress (@INCIndia) March 16, 2023
“The entire matter is about distraction. The government and the Prime Minister are scared of the Adani issue because of this they have prepared this entire ‘tamasha’. I feel that they will not let me speak in Parliament because the main question is still on the table. What is the relation between Adani and PM Modi and why are the defence contracts being given to him?” Gandhi asked.
“I am an MP and my first responsibility is to answer in the Parliament. I want to discuss things with you after answering in Parliament,” he told the media persons.
The central ministers including Anurag Thakur, Smriti Irani, Kiren Rijiju took on the Congress leader for his remarks in the UK.
Earlier today, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju hit out at Gandhi over his remarks on India in the UK and said that citizens cannot remain silent over the “defamation” of the country.
In a veiled attack against Congress, Rijiju said that India is not their “fiefdom” anymore and the grand old party cannot digest this fact.
India will never forgive Shri Rahul Gandhi and his entire gang members who deliberately worked to tarnish the virtuous image of India.
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) March 16, 2023
“Abuse us as much as you want but we can’t let you insult the nation. Rahul has insulted the judiciary, our judicial system is a robust one. The only demand is that Rahul will have to apologize to the country for insulting it. India is not their fiefdom anymore, they can’t digest this fact,” Rijiju said.
“Congress and Rahul have been rejected by the people of this country. He has undermined the reputation of our democracy and Parliament..it is not acceptable,” he added.
On Wednesday, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha faced disruptions for the third successive day with Congress and other opposition parties insisting on their demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Adani-Hindenburg row and the BJP members seeking an apology from Rahul Gandhi over his remarks made in London.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a lecture at Cambridge University in London recently, had said, “Everybody knows and it’s been in the news a lot that Indian democracy is under pressure and under attack. I am an Opposition leader in India, we are navigating that (Opposition) space.”
“The institutional framework which is required for a democratic 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,” he had added.