Venkaiah forwards privilege notice against Rahul to LS Speaker

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has referred the privilege notice against Congress president Rahul Gandhi to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

Sources on Saturday said Naidu forwarded the notice given by BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Bhupendra Yadav to Sumitra as Gandhi is a Lok Sabha member.

They said Naidu has found merit in the petitioner's contention that the Congress president, "imputed motives to the intent, character and conduct of the Leader of the House" by the way of twisting the spelling of Jaitley.

"Prima facie there is a question of privilege against Rahul Gandhi," the Rajya Sabha TV said quoting Naidu.

Sources said Rahul's tweet also amounted to denigrating his senior party colleague Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was a party to the solution to resolve the stalemate by agreeing to the language and formulation of the statements made by both the sides in Rajya Sabha on December 27.

Congress defended their chief with senior leader Anand Sharma saying, "if it comes to privilege, ministers in the government have made many such comments which will attract privilege notices. The Prime Minister himself made inappropriate remarks against people who held constitutional posts."

Yadav had given notice on breach of privilege referring to Rahul's tweet where he spelt Jaitley as "Jaitlie", saying it was derogatory.

In his tweet on 27 December 2017, Gandhi said, "Dear Mr Jaitlie thank you for reminding India that our PM never means what he says or says what he means. #BJPLies."

Gandhi was referring to Jaitley's clarification in Rajya Sabha that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not question nor did he mean to question, the commitment to this nation" of either his predecessor Manmohan Singh or former vice president Hamid Ansari.

Modi had referred to a dinner meeting attended by Singh and others in the honour of former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri and said they were trying to conspire with Pakistan to defeat BJP in Gujarat elections.

Yadav in his complaint said the comment was "very derogatory and highly unbecoming" on Rahul's part.

In his notice, Yadav also accused Rahul of "deliberately misinterpreting" Rajya Sabha proceedings to malign the government and affront the dignity of the House.

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