TNI @ Parliament: Congress remains defiant on Kharge comments

Congress defends its president for questioning the ruling party’s contribution to India’s independence. He also likened the saffron party to a mouse that masquerades as a lion

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By: Anand Singh | NEW DELHI
Updated: 20 December, 2022 4:40 pm IST

The Congress on Tuesday defended its party chief Mallikarjun Kharge for not apologising as a huge row erupted in parliament over his controversial comments, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanding an apology.

A huge row erupted after Kharge slammed the BJP for mocking Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra as “Bharat Todo (Divide India)”.

Addressing a public meeting in Rajasthan’s Alwar, the Congress president said the grand old party “won independence for the country”, and its leaders like Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi sacrificed their lives.

“Has even your dog at home died for the country? Still, they (BJP) claim to be patriots, and if we say something, we are termed deshdrohi (anti-nationals),” Kharge had said.

The Congress chief also slammed the government for not allowing a discussion in parliament on the border clash with China, saying: “They (BJP government) talk like a lion, but if you see, they act like a mouse.”

The BJP demanded an apology as soon as the day began in parliament.

“We condemn Kharge’s comments, the way he used offensive language and tried to spread a lie. He should apologise for using offensive language in Alwar,” said Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal in the Rajya Sabha.

As the demand triggered chaos in the Upper House, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said the comment was made outside parliament.

Reacting to the BJP’s demands, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Syed Naseer Hussain told The New Indian, “It is very clear, and Kharge himself has made it clear, that he will not go back to his statement and not withdraw his statement, so forget about the apology.”

Hitting out at the BJP, the Congress leader, said that people who sought an apology from the British government, people who were helping the British government, and people who were recruited to work for the British government and write apologies to the British government, how can they ask for an apology from us (Congress)?

Backing the party chief, Hussain said, “And he (Kharge) also meant that whatever he said was mentioned in several books and many newspapers reporting those days. Everything is clear. They cannot own the freedom movement for themselves because they have not contributed anything to the freedom movement.”

Meanwhile, Kharge also hit out at the BJP in Parliament and said that if he repeats himself here, it will be very difficult for these people (BJP), “because those who apologised during the freedom struggle are asking those who fought for freedom to apologise”.

“They said that the Congress is conducting a ‘Bharat Todo (Divide India) Yatra’. That’s when I said Congress has always worked on Bharat Jodo (uniting India). For this, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi gave their lives. What have you done? Who do you know has sacrificed for the country,” Kharge said.

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