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Rahul Gandhi says Lok Sabha Speaker bowed down before PM Modi, Birla says he follows tradition of bowing to elders

Entire treasury benches rose in an uproar on this remark. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also intervened and said 'this is an allegation on the Chair'.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 12:23 IST

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New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi, in his speech during the Motion of Thanks debate, had several run-ins with Speaker Om Birla. On more than one count, Gandhi asked him why his mic was off, and also asked Birla to remain fair.

As his speech was drawing to an end, Gandhi said that when Birla was elected as Speaker, he walked Birla to the Chair along with PM Modi and that the Speaker shook hands with both of them. “When I shook your hand, you stood straight and shook my hand; when Modi Ji shook your hand, you bowed down and shook his hand,” Gandhi said, leading to an eruption of protests from the treasury benches.

Responding to him, Speaker Om Birla said that his “sanksar” (culture) has taught him that he should respect elders. “My culture teaches that when we are dealing with our elders, we must bow down or even touch their feet,” the Speaker responded.

Gandhi then said that the Speaker is the last word in the Lok Sabha. “In that spirit, the Speaker is the last word in the Lok Sabha and as Members of the Lok Sabha, we are subservient to the Speaker. I believe in that; there might be people in this room who think they are not, but I think the entire Opposition believes that we are subservient to you, Sir,” Gandhi said.

He further said that the Opposition will listen to what Birla will say, but that Gandhi had a request to make to the Speaker. “Sir, it is important that there is fairness in this house. Now, I gave a speech, Speaker sir, and I was interrupted throughout, now this time is going to be taken away from my colleagues and I think that is unfair,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi also asked Birla why his mic was turned off in between his speech. Birla responded by saying that when his turn comes, Gandhi will be allowed to speak.

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Published 01 July 2024, 12:23 IST

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