Facing the ire of the ruling BJP over his remarks in the United Kingdom for defaming India on foreign soil, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that he will ‘speak on the floor of the Parliament if allowed.’
Taking a dig at the BJP, Rahul Gandhi, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Kerala’s Wayanad said that “If Indian democracy was functioning, then he will be able to speak in Parliament”.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, Rahul Gandhi said, “I went to Parliament and told the speaker of Lok Sabha that I want to speak as four Ministers in the government have levelled certain allegations against me I must get a chance to speak. There is no clarity and I don’t think they will allow me to speak.”
“I am hopeful that tomorrow I might get a chance. And today when I went to the house it was adjourned in one minute,” he said, adding that several parts of his speech that he made in Parliament a few days ago about Adani and the relationship between PM Modi and Adani Group were expunged. There was nothing in it as all the facts were taken from the public domain and yet it was expunged, he said.
“They are scared of the Adani issue and that is the reason why they expunged my part of the speech,” the Congress leader said.
Firing salvos at the government, he asked what is the relation between Adani and the Prime Minister and questioned how he is getting defence contracts and other projects.
“There are questions which Modi has failed to answer,” he said.
“As an MP my first right to answer is in Parliament. Before that I won’t make any statement in the public domain,” he said.
“The country is watching whether I will be allowed to give my clarification or I will be told to shut up. So, actually what you are seeing is a test of Indian democracy,” Rahul Gandhi said.
Rahul Gandhi has been drawing flak from the BJP and its ministers over his statement in the UK during his trip.
BJP is seeking Rahul Gandhi’s apology on the floor of the House for the comments in London.
Rahul Gandhi also emphasized that the entire episode was scripted by the BJP to divert people’s attention from the Adani issue.
“PM yet to reply to questions I asked in my last Parliament speech about Adani Group,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the Congress leader, replying to a question by The New Indian over BJP’s demands for an apology over his comments, said, “If they allow me to speak in the Parliament, I will say what I think.”
Earlier, Union Minister Piyush Goyal demanded an apology stating that Rahul Gandhi should come to Parliament House and apologize to the speaker and members of the House for defaming Indian democracy on foreign soil.
“Our democracy works on sound principles. He has humiliated the Indian parliament on foreign soil. I strongly condemn the comments he made about our Parliament. Again I will say he should come back and apologise to the House and the Speaker,” Goyal said.
Recently, Rahul Gandhi addressed a lecture at Cambridge University in London where he mentioned that Indian democracy is under pressure and opposition voices are being stifled.
Rahul Gandhi said, “Everybody knows and it’s been in the news a lot that Indian democracy is under pressure and under attack. I am an Opposition leader in India, we are navigating that (Opposition) space. The institutional framework which is required for democracy is Parliament, free press, and the judiciary, just the idea of mobilisation, and moving around all are getting constrained. So, we are facing an attack on the basic structure of Indian democracy.”