Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and KC Venugopal met Bahujan Samaj Party MP Kunwar Danish Ali - who had Islamophobic slurs hurled at him by BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri last evening, during a Rajya Sabha discussion on the "success of Chandrayaan-3" - at his home in Delhi on Friday night.
Mr Gandhi posted a photograph of him hugging Mr Ali on X (formerly Twitter) and wrote, "Nafrat ke bazaar mein, mohabbat ki dukkan (In this marketplace of hatred, there is a shop of love)."
The comment was a reference to a slogan used during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, when he said wanted to open a "mohabbat ki dukkan", or "shop of love", in the "market of hatred" spawned by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Shortly before the Congress leaders' visit, a tearful Mr Ali told NDTV he had been unable to sleep the night and is on the verge of a breakdown after being targeted by the BJP member.
"Was this special session (of the parliament) called to attack elected MPs by linking them to their community? This has shamed the entire country. We will see whether his party will take any action against him or promote him. This is hate speech," Mr Ali told NDTV.
"This is the first time indecent language has been used against an elected MP. This is a threat," Mr Ali continued, asking if these are the lessons being taught to BJP members in the "new India".
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The BSP MP has written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla demanding action against Ramesh Bidhuri.
Mr Birla, officials said has taken serious notice of Ramesh Bidhuri's shocking language and has warned the BJP lawmaker of "strict action" should he repeat such abominable behaviour.
The BJP, under pressure from the opposition to act against Ramesh Bidhuri, has sent a show-cause notice asking him to explain his unparliamentary language within 15 days.
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In a video from Lok Sabha, Ramesh Bidhuri hurls abuses and Islamophobic slurs at Danish Ali.
An apoplectic opposition has demanded Ramesh Bidhuri be either suspended from Parliament or be arrested. They have not been pacified by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's "half-hearted" apology; Mr Singh said, "I express regret if the opposition is hurt by remarks made by the member..."
"An absolute shame. Rajnath Singh's apology is not acceptable and half-hearted. This is an insult to parliament... a clear case of suspension... statement is an insult to every Indian," the Congress' Jairam Ramesh said, demanding "strictest possible action" against the BJP leader.
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The Congress pointed out that in the previous session, their Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had been suspended for allegedly "insulting ministers".