Against Parliamentary democracy: Rahul Gandhi writes to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla over remarks being expunged

'Taking off from records my considered remarks goes against the tenets of Parliamentary democracy,' he said in the letter, requesting the Speaker to restore them in the records.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 07:24 IST

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New Delhi: Certain remarks made by Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi during the debate on Motion of Thanks to the President's address were expunged from Parliamentary records, prompting the top Congress leader to shoot off a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla objecting to the decision, while accusing him of “selective expunction” when it came to a BJP MP.

The remarks linking Hinduism and BJP, some industrialists, controversial military recruitment scheme Agnipath and coaching centre in Kota made during his speech in Lok Sabha on Monday were expunged. In a rare action, Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervened during Rahul’s speech while several ministers too did the same at different occasions.

Hitting out at the Modi government, Rahul told reporters before writing the letter, “Whatever I had to say, I have said and that is the truth. They can expunge as much as they want, but the truth will prevail. Truth can be expunged in the world of Modi-ji, but in reality, truth cannot be expunged.”

Requesting the Speaker to restore his remarks, Rahul in his letter said that every member of the House who personifies the collective voice of people whom he or she represents has the freedom of speech as enshrined in Article 105(1) of the Constitution.

“It is every member’s right to raise people’s concerns on the floor of the House. It is that right and an exercise of my obligations to the people of the country, that I was exercising yesterday. Taking off from records my considered remarks goes against the tenets of Parliamentary democracy,” he said.

“In this context, I also wish to draw attention to the speech of Anurag Thakur whose speech was full of allegations, however, surprisingly only one word has been expunged. With due respect to your good self, this selective expunction defied logic,” he added.

In his letter, Rahul said the Chair derives the power to expunge certain remarks but the stipulation is only those kinds of words, the nature of which have been specified in Rule 380 of the Rules and Procedures and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.

Rule 380 says if the Speaker is of opinion that words have been used in debate which are defamatory or indecent or unparliamentary or undignified, the Speaker may, while exercising discretion order that such words be expunged from the proceedings of the House.

Congress Media and Publicity Department Chairman Pawan Khera said on 'X', “Yesterday in Parliament, while explaining Hindu ideology, Rahul Gandhi also showed the mirror to some people. They saw their ugly faces in that mirror. There is courage, non-violence and truth in Hindu thought.”

“Like the Ganga, this idea has been flowing since eternity. In this flow, there is the wisdom of the sages and the story of the life struggles of our ancestors…Many people tried to stop this. It didn't stop…We will not allow Hindu ideology to be imprisoned in the narrow mindedness of BJP,” he added.

Published 02 July 2024, 07:24 IST

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