Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday referred the notice on the breach of privilege motion against Congress president Rahul Gandhi to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Rajya Sabha TV reported. Since Gandhi is a member of the Lok Sabha, the Chairman has referred it to the Lok Sabha Speaker to take the process forward.
The move comes more than a week after senior BJP leader Bhupendra Yadav raised a breach of privilege motion against the Congress president in the Rajya Sabha alleging he had used “derogatory” words against Finance Ministry Arun Jaitley on social media. In his notice, Yadav said the Congress president twisted the spelling of Jaitley’s surname to ‘Jaitlie’ and it was highly derogatory.
Naidu had said Yadav’s privilege notice is being examined. “I will have to examine it and take a view. One thing I should advise everybody is that a solemn agreement had been reached between the Leader of the House [Jaitley] as well as the Leader of the Opposition [Ghulam Nabi Azad]. All other people have also endorsed it. Anybody outside commenting on that agreement… That is not fair and good for the House and also our system. But anyhow… I will be going through the privilege motion and take an appropriate decision,” Naidu said. Read more here.
The matter refers to a tweet made by the Congress president on December 27. “Dear Mr Jaitlie – thank you for reminding India that our PM never means what he says or says what he means. #BJPLies,” Gandhi wrote on Twitter. The remark was in reference to Jaitley’s clarification in the House that PM Narendra Modi “did not question, nor did he mean to question, the commitment to this nation” of either his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh or former vice president Hamid Ansari. “Any such perception is erroneous, we hold these leaders in high esteem, as well as their commitment to India,” Jaitley told the House.
Though the Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, who had held negotiations with Jaitley over several days to arrive at the truce, had said that after Jaitley’s statement the issue was a “closed chapter”, Gandhi’s tweet came merely hours after Azad told Rajya Sabha that “nothing should be said to hurt the dignity of the Prime Minister.”
Following Gandhi’s Twitter post, BJP gave a notice in the Rajya Sabha said Gandhi has imputed motives to the “intent, character and conduct” of Jaitley in the tweet. Yadav said the Congress chief had intentionally, maliciously and disrespectfully “twisted” Jaitley’s name to defame the House.
“In his tweet, the Congress president has deliberately misinterpreted the proceedings of Rajya Sabha in order to malign the government. Thus, it also constitutes an affront to the dignity of the House… It is a deliberate act of vitiating the political atmosphere of the country and a clear-cut attempt of obstructing the House in performance of its functions by vitiating the political atmosphere of the country,” Yadav said.