'Should have remained impartial': LoP Rahul Gandhi objects to Speaker Om Birla's Emergency remark

Sources in Congress said that Gandhi told the Speaker that the Chair should have remained impartial.
Last Updated : 27 June 2024, 08:26 IST

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New Delhi: Lok Sabha Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi on Thursday conveyed his displeasure to Speaker Om Birla about the Emergency statement that he made in the Lower House on Wednesday, soon after Birla assumed charge of the House after being elected.

Birla, in a statement in the Lok Sabha, had called the Emergency a “dark period” for India.

Congress Lok Sabha MP and general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal, while speaking to reporters outside the Parliament, said that Gandhi expressed his displeasure over the statement.

“Rahul ji met the Speaker during a Customary meeting after he was appointed as the Leader of Opposition and he expressed his displeasure,” Venugopal said.

Sources in Congress said that Gandhi told the Speaker that the Chair should have remained impartial.

“It is fine if a BJP leader or the Prime Minister had made the reference. But he said that the Chair should have remained impartial,” a Congress leader said.

The AICC general secretary incharge of organisation also wrote a letter to the speaker and called the reference on the Emergency "unprecedented in the annals of parliamentary history."

“This coming from the Chair as one of the ‘first duties’ from a newly elected speaker assumes graver proportion,” Venugopal wrote to Birla.

On Wednesday, after assuming charge and after the PM introduced his council of ministers, Birla rose to make a statement on the 1975 Emergency.

"This was a dark chapter in the history of India, on this day the then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency in the country and launched a fierce attack on the Constitution written by Baba Saheb,” Birla had said.

“A dictatorship was imposed on India, democratic values were forgotten and freedom of expression was stifled. The rights of the citizens were destroyed and many Opposition leaders were put in jail,” he added even as Congress MPs rose in protests.

On Thursday, during her Joint Address to the members of both Houses, President Droupadi Murmu too made a reference to the Emergency.

"Today is 27th June. The imposition of Emergency on 25th June 1975, was the biggest and darkest chapter of direct attack on the Constitution. The entire country felt outraged,” she said.

Both Rahul and Sonia Gandhi were present in the House at the time.

Published 27 June 2024, 08:26 IST

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