This Article is From Mar 16, 2023

Government Vs Opposition Over Rahul Gandhi, Adani Stalls Parliament

Congressleader Rahul Gandhi is expected to attend the session today and addressthe massive controversy over his comments in London

The Law Minister said Rahul Gandhi spoke the language of anti-India forces

New Delhi:

Parliament adjourned early without any work today amid chaos over the BJP's offensive over Rahul Gandhi's remarks in London and the opposition's demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Adani-Hindenberg row.

Rahul Gandhi was seen in Lok Sabha for the first time since the row erupted over his comments in London on the state of democracy in India. But both houses met for only a few minutes before being adjourned for the day.

"I will speak inside the House if they allow me to," the Congress leader had told NDTV earlier. On the BJP's demands for his apology, he said: "I didn't give any anti-India speech."

In Lok Sabha, Trinamool Congress members protested around the Speaker's chair with their mouths covered with a black ribbon. Later, opposition members formed a human chain near parliament to press for a probe into the Adani-Hindenburg row.

The government-opposition standoff has stalled all work in the second half of the Budget session.

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju ratcheted up pressure on the Congress this morning, accusing Rahul Gandhi of telling lies in the UK and denigrating the nation.

"The person who speaks the most in this country, and targets the government day and night, says abroad that he does not have the freedom to speak in India," Mr Rijiju said, speaking to reporters.

"Rahul Gandhi can sink the Congress, we don't care. But if he tries to harm or insult the nation, we as citizens cannot be silent. Just because the country has rejected the Congress leadership, doesn't mean he can abuse the nation abroad," he added.

"All anti-India gang members talk on same lines. They repeat whatever Rahul Gandhi says," Mr Rijiju railed.

The Congress has ruled out an apology, pointing out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had often attacked the Congress on his trips abroad.

"I want to ask those who are seeking an apology that Modiji went to five-six countries and there he (Modi) humiliated our country saying it was a sin to be born in India, now these people same people are curbing freedom of expression," Mr Kharge said.

An array of Union Ministers has denounced Rahul Gandhi for his comments in London.

At a recent lecture at Cambridge University, the Congress MP said the Indian democracy is under pressure and opposition voices are being stifled.

Rahul Gandhi had 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."

The Congress and other opposition parties have accused the ruling BJP of trying to deflect attention from the Adani-Hindenburg row and ducking demands for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to investigate the allegations of Hindenburg against the Adani Group. The Adani Group has strongly denied allegations of stock fraud and share price manipulation.

The Supreme Court last month ordered a panel of experts to investigate the regulatory processes and the impact on investors of the Hindenburg allegations, which led to the crash of Adani Group stocks.

The government has also said market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) will submit a report within two months of its probe into the allegations.