After Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was asked by the Lok Sabha Secretariat to reply to breach of privilege notices for his remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha by February 15, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Monday said action would be taken this time on the notices sent to the former Congress president for making an ‘unparliamentary remark’ about the Prime Minister in Parliament’s Lower House.
Rahul Gandhi, in his speech in the Lok Sabha on February 7, made several allegations against the government over the Hindenburg-Adani row.
According to Lok Sabha secretariat sources, the notices seek a response from the Congress leader for making “misleading, derogatory, unparliamentary, and incriminatory statements” during a debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address in Lok Sabha on February 7.
In a letter dated February 10, the secretariat asked Rahul Gandhi to furnish his reply on the notices by February 15.
Talking to a news agency on Monday, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said, “(BJP leader) Nishikant Dubey issued a notice to Rahul Gandhi for making baseless allegations (against PM Modi). What they say has to be supported with evidence but they haven’t produced any. We all are answerable to the people of this country. This time action will be taken on this notice.”
Meanwhile, reacting to the Lok Sabha Secretariat’s notices, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said there was nothing unparliamentary in what Rahul Gandhi said in the Parliament.
Talking to the media in the National Capital, Kharge said, “Whatever Rahul Gandhi had mentioned in the Parliament was already in the public domain and there is nothing unparliamentary about this. So he will respond to the notice accordingly.”
In his letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker, Dubey said the Congress MP made certain “unverified, incriminatory and defamatory statements” in contravention of the rules. He said Rahul Gandhi made these against Prime Minister Narendra Modi “without giving advance notice to the Speaker and also to the Prime Minister as required under Rule 353”.
“These statements are misleading, derogatory, indecent, unparliamentary, undignified and incriminatory in nature to the dignity of the House and Prime Minister being a Member of Lok Sabha. Rahul Gandhi, despite making a statement in the House that he would provide documentary evidence, has not submitted any duly authenticated document for supporting his statements,” Dubey wrote.
“As such, he has made a statement which amounts to misleading the House in the absence of any documentary evidence besides being a reflection upon the Prime Minister. This conduct is in clear violation of privileges of the House and its members besides being a clear case of contempt of the House,” the BJP MP added.
Joshi, who wrote a similar letter, said Rahul Gandhi’s remarks are liable to be expunged by the Speaker as these are “derogatory, indecent, unparliamentary and undignified”.