BJP wants Rahul Gandhi suspended from Lok Sabha: Here's why
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey called for a special parliamentary committee on Wednesday to probe Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's "contemptuous" comments during his trip to the United Kingdom (UK). Gandhi had attacked the Centre on several issues during his visit. Dubey also suggested expelling Gandhi from the House so "no one takes the pride and respect of high institutions for a ride."
Why does this story matter?
- Gandhi's speech at Cambridge University last month triggered a massive row after he claimed that the Indian democracy was under attack and politicians, including himself, were being spied on.
- With the general polls around the corner, Congress has been on the offensive against the BJP over issues like the Adani Group-Hindenburg controversy and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary on Narendra Modi.
Dubey targets Gandhi over his remarks on India
In his official letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, the BJP MP stated that he is pushing a notice under Rule 223 of the Lok Sabha's Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business on the "unbecoming behavior" of a member of Parliament. Dubey also highlighted the Congress leader's allegations that microphones are switched off in Parliament while Opposition members try to speak there.
Details of Dubey's letter to Birla
"This conduct of the Member is required to be investigated thoroughly either by the Privileges Committee or by a special committee," the news agency PTI quoted Dubey's letter as saying. "Thereafter, House should consider whether such a member should be expelled from the House to protect the esteem of parliament and other democratic institutions and give a clear message," the letter adds.
Rajnath Singh also demanded apology from Gandhi
Earlier on Monday, in his address to the Lok Sabha, Defence Minister and BJP leader Rajnath Singh said that the Congress MP should "apologize before the House." While asking Gandhi to apologize, the Defense Minister stated: "I demand that his statements should be condemned by all members of this House, and he should be asked to apologize before the House."
Gandhi said foreign forces should save India's democracy: Singh
Singh also called out Gandhi on Twitter, writing in Hindi: "Mr. Rahul Gandhi, who is a member of the Lok Sabha, has gone to London and tried to defame India and said that the democratic system in India is completely collapsing." Furthermore, the BJP leader added: "He has also said that foreign forces should save India's democracy."
Details on Gandhi's lecture at Cambridge University
The dispute started after Gandhi attacked the BJP-led Central government in his address at Cambridge University on February 28. During his address on Learning to Listen in the 21st Century, the Congress MP claimed that there was "an attack on the basic structure of Indian democracy" and that numerous opposition leaders were being spied on using Israeli spyware Pegasus.
India's democracy under attack: Gandhi
"Indian democracy is under pressure and under attack," the Congress leader claimed during the lecture in the UK. "The institutional framework which is required for a democracy... Parliament, free press, the judiciary, just the idea of mobilization...these are all getting constrained. So, we are facing an attack on the basic structure of Indian democracy," added Gandhi.
Gandhi visited Lok Sabha on Thursday since row erupted
On Thursday, Gandhi attended Lok Sabha for the first time since the row erupted over his remarks on Indian democracy. "Today, within one minute of my coming to the House, they adjourned it," said Gandhi. "If the Indian democracy was functioning, I would be able to say my piece in parliament. What you are seeing is a test of the Indian democracy," he added.