Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury hit out at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha describing its leaders as "fake Hindus" and accused the government of "trying to shut the voices of people through bullets."
Mr Chowdhury's remarks came amid protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and three firing incidents in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh and Jamia area.
Referring to Union minister Anurag Thakur's recent "shoot the traitors" statement while leading a crowd at a BJP rally, Mr Chowdhury said the government "cannot shut the voice of the people through bullets". Mr Thakur, who was campaigning for BJP candidate Manish Chaudhary, had chanted "desh ke gaddaron ko", to which the crowd enthusiastically replied "Goli Maaro Sa***n Ko"; the entire chant translates to "shoot down the traitors who betray the country".
"People are staging protests to save the Constitution after the Citizenship Amendment Act came into force. Common people are being shot and killed by bullets. This government is trying to shut the voice of people through bullets. They cannot do that. They (BJP) are fake Hindus," Mr Chowdhury said during Zero Hour demanding discussion over the issue and asking the government to reconsider CAA.
A shot was fired outside the Jamia Millia Islamia University in south Delhi on Sunday night in the third such incident in four days at an anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protest in the capital. On Saturday, just three days after a teen shooter fired at protesters at Jamia Millia University, another man fired shots standing near police barricades put up at Shaheen Bagh.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla interrupted him and said a late night discussion on CAA was arranged in the winter session. Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said Congress can raise the issue after the motion of thanks to President's address, "I am appealing to you through Speaker to let the House continue its proceedings."
Mr Chowdhury was among other Congress MPs along with other lawmakers from Dravida Munetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) who started protesting against the government to "roll back" CAA soon after the House assembled at 11 am today.
The lawmakers came near the Speaker's podium and began sloganeering "save our democracy", "save our Constitution", "save our India", "Prime Minister, reply", "stop inflammatory speeches" and "roll-back CAA" when Speaker Birla did not allow Congress floor leader to speak over the issue.
Amid pandemonium, Mr Birla continued the Question Hour and Zero Hour. As the ruckus continued, the Speaker adjourned the House for lunch till 1:30 pm.
Earlier, Mr Chowdhury, Kodikunnil Suresh and Gaurav Gogoi gave adjournment motion notices in the Lok Sabha to "reconsider" the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act which came into force on January 10 when the Ministry of Home Affairs made the announcement through a gazette notification -- almost a month after it was passed by Parliament on December 11, 2019.
CAA grants citizenship to migrants from six non-Muslim communities -- Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians -- who fled to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014.