'Aggressive' Rahul attacks Speaker, Modi

Cong VP tries to boost party morale ahead of Assembly polls

'Aggressive' Rahul attacks Speaker, Modi

Asserting his role to resurrect the Congress ahead of the Assembly polls, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday stormed into the Well of the Lok Sabha supporting party MPs who were demanding an immediate discussion on rising incidents of communal violence.  

Outside Parliament, the Gandhi scion was equally belligerent when he launched a veiled attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi by saying that “only one voice is being heard”.

He also fired a direct volley at Speaker Sumitra Mahajan accusing her of being “partial” for not heeding to the party’s request for a discussion on the issue.

“We are not being allowed to speak in Parliament. We are asking for discussion. There is a mentality in the government that discussion is not acceptable. Everybody feels it, their party feels it, we feel it,” Rahul told reporters outside Parliament. 

The party vice-president said: “There is a mood in Parliament that only one man’s voice counts for anything in this country...the Speaker, I mean...It is completely one-sided, partiality. That’s what we are raising.”  

Earlier, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Malikarjun Kharge, who wanted the adjournment motion to be converted into a debate on the topic, charged that riots were taking place since the new government came to power. 

Rahul’s diatribe is being interpreted as an attempt to send a clear message to sort out discordant voices in the party which was being raised post the electoral debacle. A section of the Congress wants Rahul’s sister Priyanka to shed her reluctance and take active part in politics. 

At the same time, his aggressiveness is being watched as an attempt to let the NDA government know that the honeymoon period was over, said opposition party sources. 

His stand seemed well thought out since Congress president Sonia Gandhi, too, was seen aiding his slogan shouting, which he never did in the past. Rahul got a tit-for-tat counter punch from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who described his aggression as “contrived”.

“The reason is very clear. Today, a section of the leadership of the Congress party, because of its inability to lead, has come under pressure. They have been facing a palace coup. It's a coup within their own party,” Jaitley remarked. 

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