As the Congress dismissed as a “patent lie” the report in RSS mouthpiece Organiser that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had claimed his salary and allowances during his 56-day “leave of absence”, official sources disclosed that he had not drawn any allowance for the said period.
Hitting back at the RSS, the Congress said “spreading misleading lies, mischievous canards and divisive venom have become the patented hallmark of RSS, the ideological guide of the pracharak Prime Minister”. Editor of the RSS mouthpiece, Prafulla Ketkar, was not available for comment.
Rahul had taken a break during the first part of the Budget Session earlier this year. Sources maintained that there was no provision in the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, for making any deduction from the salary of a member in case of his absence from the House. However, no member can draw this allowance unless he signs the attendance register which is maintained by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
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“Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi did not draw any daily allowance during the period when he did not attend the Parliament. To impute otherwise, as is being sought to be done by RSS in a diabolical fashion, is a patent lie,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said. “If RSS is still beholden to parading its lies, it would be well advised to first question its pracharak PM, its ministers and BJP-NDA MPs about the reasons for not forgoing pay and allowances for the period during which they did not attend Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha sessions,” he added. He said under the BJP government, “India’s polity is bloodied… by this unchecked vitriolic meted out shamelessly by the pracharaks of RSS and BJP”.
Surjewala referred to controversial remarks made by the RSS, including its chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks on reservation and an earlier observation on Mother Teresa, and said a “vicious tirade of RSS is unleashed on a regular basis against individuals and organisations who stand to challenge their fascist thought process.” The “latest bundle of lies” dished out is against Rahul, he said.