Opposition's mics often silenced in Parliament: Rahul to British MPs
Talking to British MPs in the Houses of Parliament complex in London on Monday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that functioning microphones in the Lok Sabha are often muted to silence opposition leaders. "Our mics are not out of order, they are functioning, but you still can't switch them on. That's happened to me a number of times while I am speaking," he said.
Why does this story matter?
- Gandhi has repeatedly alleged that mics are switched off in Parliament when the opposition tries to raise issues against the government.
- Last month, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla told Gandhi that he shouldn't accuse him of muting mics, which the latter contested.
- Notably, Gandhi's statements regarding the alleged relationship between PM Narendra Modi and billionaire businessman Gautam Adani were expunged from records in February.
Bharat Jodo Yatra deeply political exercise in mass mobilization: Gandhi
Gandhi, who is on a weeklong tour of the United Kingdom, was attending an event in the Grand Committee Room within the House of Commons organized by veteran Indian-origin Opposition Labour Party MP Virendra Sharma. Furthermore, the 52-year-old MP from Wayanad in Kerala shared his experience from his party's recently-concluded pan-India march Bharat Jodo Yatra calling it a "deeply political exercise in mass mobilization."
Government stifling discussion on disastrous steps: Gandhi
Gandhi also said the Centre stifled discussion on its "disastrous" decisions, citing the issue of demonetization, goods and service tax (GST), and Chinese troops entering India. He said, "I remember a Parliament where there were vibrant discussions, heated debates, arguments, disagreements, but we had a conversation. And, that's frankly what we miss in Parliament. We have to use debates to fit in other debates."
Democracy weakened in India, global setback: Gandhi
Gandhi said, "Democracy in India is a global public good. India is big enough...if democracy is weakened in India, it is weakened on the planet. India's democracy is three times the size of the US and Europe...if this democracy crumbles, it will be a huge setback for democracy on the planet." Attacking the BJP, he added Congress successfully governed India for many years.
Don't betray India: Anurag Thakur to Gandhi
Meanwhile, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused Gandhi of maligning India's image on foreign soil as part of a conspiracy to hide his failures. Union minister Anurag Thakur attacked Gandhi, saying that he shouldn't betray India. Thakur said Gandhi's objection to India's foreign policy reflected his scant understanding of the issue, adding that no one would believe the lies he was spreading.