A massive uproar erupted in the Lok Sabha on Friday over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s “beat with sticks” remark for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, forcing the adjournment of the lower house thrice.
A scuffle was witnessed between BJP and Congress MPs over Gandhi’s “danda” jibe against PM Modi.
While addressing a rally in poll-bound Delhi on Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi had said that Modi will “not be able to step out of his house in six months from now. The youth of India will beat him with sticks to make him understand that without employment, the country can never progress.”
After two brief adjournments — first around 11.50 a.m. and the second at 1 p.m. — the House was adjourned to meet a third time at 2 pm Speaker in the chair A Raja then adjourned the House till Monday morning within minutes of its meeting as lawmakers from both sides again created pandemonium.
Earlier the House had to be adjourned minutes after it met at 1 pm. Congress leader Manickam Tagore had tried to snatch a paper from Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan when he was reading out a note condemning Rahul over his remark against Modi.
The Congress leader’s snatching attempt was followed by BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh rushing towards Tagore to stop him, and then MPs from both treasury and opposition benches trooped near Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s podium.
The uproar started soon after Gandhi asked a question from the Health Minister during question hour.
Mentioning the listed question number 89, Rahul inquired from the Health Minister Vardhan about the establishment of medical colleges planned for his Wayanad constituency in Kerala under Phase-III of the centrally sponsored scheme for the ‘Establishment of New Medical Colleges’ attached with existing district or referral hospitals in aspirational districts.
Harsh Vardhan responded by saying that before he answers the question, he wanted to condemn the language Rahul had used against the Prime Minister. Vardhan, who made the remarks amid uproar, said he was surprised at Gandhi’s remarks as his father was also a Prime Minister.
“In the worst of cases, BJP leaders have not made such personal remarks against Gandhi. The entire House must in unequivocal terms condemn his language against the Prime Minister,” said Harsh Vardhan.
In the meantime, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi alleged that his voice is being suppressed in the House. Gandhi also alleged that there were instructions from the BJP hierarchy to stifle his voice in the House.
Speaking to reporters outside the House, Gandhi said: “There is an issue in Wayanad about them not having a Medical College… so I wanted to raise. BJP obviously doesn’t like it if I speak. We are not allowed to speak in Parliament. See visuals…Manickam Tagore didn’t attack anyone, rather he was attacked.”
Meanwhile, Congress MP B Manickam Tagore has written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on today’s incident in the Parliament demanding “to check the CCTV footage and take immediate action against the people who manhandled him”.
Earlier on Thursday, PM Modi had jibed at Gandhi over the same remark in the Parliament saying he would “increase the number of Surya Namaskars (a yoga exercise) so that his back can bear the sticks”.
Today too, in his public meeting in Assam, PM Modi, taking a swipe at the Congress leader, said that “sticks will have no effect” on him.