Updated: March 14, 2023

BJP demands apology from Rahul Gandhi for London speech, Lok Sabha adjourned till 2 pm

Barring the TMC, opposition members marched to the House well, chanting anti-government slogans in response to the government's multiple arrests and questioning of its leaders by central investigative agencies.

Even as the Opposition was armed with allegations of misusing central investigative agencies against its leaders, the ruling BJP on Monday disrupted proceedings in the Lok Sabha seeking an apology from Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for his "remarks against Indian democracy outside the country". The second leg of Parliament's Budget session began on Monday, but Speaker Om Birla quickly adjourned the House until 2 p.m.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh led the treasury benches' offensive against Gandhi, who has criticised the government for putting "democracy under attack", and said: "He has sought the intervention of foreign powers to come and save Indian democracy. This is unacceptable. He should apologise to the Lok Sabha and be condemned by the House." Singh was speaking amid sloganeering from both the opposition and members of the ruling party on separate issues.

Except for the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Opposition demonstrated by marching to the House well and chanting anti-government slogans. Members of the Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Left, and Bharat Rashtra Samithi were among them (BRS).

BJP MPs raised the slogan 'Rahul Gandhi desh ko badnam karna bandh karo (Rahul Gandhi, stop defaming the nation)' even before the Opposition began its protests over the multiple arrests and questioning of its leaders by central investigative agencies. Singh stood up and stated that Gandhi had raised concerns about Indian democracy on foreign soil.

"India is the mother of democracy," said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi. Rahul Gandhi, a member of this House, questioned the Chair, claiming that his microphone had been turned off. He was allowed to finish his speech, but he still blamed the Chair. Where was democracy when citizens' fundamental rights were suspended during the Emergency? "Where was democracy when an ordinance promulgated by a government in which Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister and leaders like Sharad Pawar were ministers was torn publicly, calling it 'nonsense,' rendering the PM helpless?" he asked.

Speaker Om Birla asked both parties to remain seated so that Question Hour could begin. Birla adjourned the proceedings until 2 p.m. because both sides refused to relent.

Prior to the House meeting, Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Anurag Thakur, along with Joshi, issued a statement demanding that Rahul Gandhi apologise for his remarks in London.




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