March 2, 2016 4:24:44 am
The second day of the Budget session of Rajasthan Assembly Tuesday continued to be dominated by the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) controversy and the alleged derogatory comments by two BJP MLAs — Kailash Choudhary and Gyandev Ahuja — against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
Congress legislators once again indulged in sloganeering in the House, demanding an apology from the BJP over the comments made by its two MLAs. The Congress later staged a walkout. The party demanded that the BJP take action against the two MLAs and also sought an apology from Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore intervened, saying the Congress should have moved a notice before raising their demands.
Interestingly, when Rajasthan Legislative Assembly speaker Kailash Meghwal allowed Leader of Opposition Rameshwar Dudi to speak in the Assembly, BJP’s deputy chief whip Madan Rathore pointed out that Dudi had earlier hugged MLA Gyandev Ahuja warmly.
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“You embraced our MLA outside the House and congratulated him for his statement and now you are opposing him,” Rathore said. Ahuja joined in and backed the claim. This angered the Congress members, including party’s deputy whip Govind Singh Dotasara.
As the protests continued, senior Congress legislator Pradhyuman Singh demanded that Rajendra and Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria make it clear whether the government supports “such derogatory remarks” from its MLAs.
Later, talking to journalists after the walkout, Dudi denied hugging Ahuja and demanded that the CM express regret for the comments by the MLAs. He alleged the BJP was trying to divert attention from the discussion on other serious issues and, hence, was is not apologising for the comments. On Monday, too, the party had disrupted Governor Kalyan Singh’s address and staged a walkout.
Earlier in the day, as soon as the question hour began, the Congress MLAs gathered in the well of the House, seeking an apology from the CM, who stayed put in her seat.
During the Zero Hour, senior Congress MLA Pradyuman Singh tried to mediate between the two sides and suggested that the BJP MLAs apologise for the comments. However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore cited rules and said the Congress’s demand was invalid.
with PTI input
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