Under attack from the ruling dispensation for his remarks on democracy during his recent UK visit, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said he wanted to clarify his position in Parliament tomorrow but wondered if he would be allowed to speak.
”In the morning, I went to Parliament and spoke with the Speaker (Lok Sabha) that I want to speak to. Four ministers of the government had levelled allegations against me so it’s my fundamental right to speak,” he told the media.
Shortly afterwards, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, at a media briefing, said his party would continue its nationwide campaign against Rahul until he apologised for his remarks in the UK. ”We were under the impression that Rahul will apologise today for his remarks demeaning Parliament but he has not done that,” he said.
The Congress MP, who appeared in Parliament for the first time ever since he made the remarks in the UK, alleged that the government was “scared” over the Adani issue and, therefore, enacting a ‘tamasha’ (drama) in Parliament and outside. He said he had raised questions about the relationship between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Adani group but there was no response from the government.
Referring to the expunged speech in Lok Sabha in the first half of the ongoing Budget Session, he 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 entire matter is about distraction. 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.
Hitting back at Rahul, Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Congress leader had asked the US and the UK to take notice of the falling standards of democracy in India. “Rahul has made it a habit to belittle the country and its democracy…he owes an apology to the nation,” Prasad added.