Congress and Trinamool Congress MPs walked out of the Lok Sabha Thursday over allegedly disparaging remarks made by BJP MP Virendra Singh against Rahul Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia. The remarks, made Wednesday, were later expunged.
At the beginning of the session, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan disallowed an adjournment motion moved by Congress members against Singh. The MP from Bhadohi had made the remark during a discussion Wednesday on the drought situation.
On Thursday Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said Singh’s remarks were objectionable, insulting and defamatory”. He added it was made not only against Rahul and Scindia but also against former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Kharge demanded that Singh must tender an unconditional apology or must be suspended.
Mahajan pointed out to Kharge that Singh’s remarks have been expunged. But Congress MPs rushed into the well shouting, “Badla lena band karo, Speaker madam nyay karo.”
Kharge said the BJP was encouraging Singh. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu responded the party condemns any kind of personal attack. He demanded action against Opposition members who had rushed into the well and thrown papers at the deputy speaker the previous day. Adding that both sides have to maintain decorum, he said, “ How can you call the Prime Minister of India, the darling of the Indian masses, ‘Hitler’?”
As Congress members continued protesting, Mahajan adjourned the House for 25 minutes. When the House reconvened at 11.45 pm, question hour went on amid the din as Congress members continued protesting in the well of the House. The Trinamool’s Saugata Roy backed Kharge and demanded that just like Sakshi Maharaj had apologised in the past, Singh must do so. “The only thing that is preventing him is the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs standing up and defending him”
Naidu made a plea that the Opposition must allow the House to function so that important legislation is passed. Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay said, “My feeling is that floor management, either the BJP party-wise or the parliamentary affairs minister-wise, is not sufficient. They are not rising to the occasion as is expected of them.”
Adding that exemplary punishment should be in place for remarks like those made by Singh, Bandyopadhyay announced that the party is walking out. Trinamool and Congress members, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, then left the House.