Updated: March 14, 2023

In a recent session of Parliament, BJP launched a fresh attack on Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the opposition Congress party

As Rahul Gandhi came to Parliament Thursday for the first time since the BJP began an attack over remarks made by him during interactions in London, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju stepped up the BJP offensive, accusing the Congress leader of "speaking in the language of anti-India forces".

Addressing the media at Parliament House, Rijiju justified the BJP's protest in both Houses demanding Rahul's apology; Parliament was unable to function for the fourth straight day Thursday due to protests, including by the Opposition, over the Adani case.

“Anything related to the nation is a matter of concern for all. We do not care what’s happening to the Congress or its leadership. But if he insults the nation, we cannot keep quiet,” Rijijju stated.

"These anti-India forces speak the same language. They both speak along the same lines. Rahul Gandhi also use similar terminology. "It is the language of all those who work against India," claimed the Law Minister.

"We cannot remain silent when Parliament is being attacked," Rijijju stated, implying that the stalemate in Parliament will continue. If we do, the nation will not forgive us. It's not our fault if the country doesn't support Rahul. But that doesn't mean he can disparage or portray the country negatively."

Hinting that the stalemate in Parliament will continue, Rijijju said: “We cannot keep quiet when Parliament is being attacked. The nation will not forgive us if we do. It’s not our fault that the country doesn’t support Rahul. But that doesn’t mean he can insult the country or show it in a poor light.”

Rahul met with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday, pleading with him to let him speak in the House. "If they allow me to speak in Parliament, I will say what I think," he told reporters as he exited the chamber, adding that what he says will not be to the BJP's favor.

Asked what would be the BJP's stance if Rahul refuses to apologise, Rijijju said: "All the available instruments, regulations and conventions will be employed. The next actions will be discussed."

On Thursday, the BJP demanded an apology from Rahul for stating democracy was under threat in India, while the Congress-led Opposition urged a joint parliamentary committee investigate into the Hindenburg report on the Adani Group. The MPs of the Trinamool Congress, which has kept away from Congress-led rallies, entered in Parliament with their lips covered with black cloth, as a sign of "not being allowed to speak inside the House".

Rijiju stated that what Rahul had said concerns everyone in the country, not only the BJP. "He went on a Yatra and met folks of like mind. He continued to speak, but lamented the lack of freedom of expression in India. The most vocal person in our country claims that there is no freedom. "That's the irony," the minister pointed out.

He went on to say that as a result of Rahul's words, he had received calls from people all over the world pleading with him to "allow" the Congress leader to speak in the House.

Rijiju slammed the Congress for protecting Rahul, claiming that he had stated nothing improper for which he ought to apologize. They will be eternally grateful to the people of India for providing them with the best opportunities to serve the country."

"Some people are unconcerned about the country's prestige," he added. "Will the Congress party take a broom to London and clean it up?"

Pointing out that he belonged to a minority community too, and was an MP from Arunachal Pradesh, Rijiju further challenged assertions that minorities experienced challenges in the country, stressing that "there is a free atmosphere in the country".




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