Congress leaders have a habit of maligning the country and putting the blame on others, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said on Thursday, amid a political row over Rahul Gandhi's remarks in the UK that structures of Indian democracy are under attack.
"Welcome to Parliament. It has been a week-long wait. Rahul Gandhi has maligned India from foreign soil, has spread lies and insulted Parliament. He should come to the House and apologise," the information and broadcasting minister said.
Rahul Gandhi on Thursday arrived in Parliament House after his return from abroad and met Speaker Om Birla urging him to allow him to speak in Lok Sabha.
Mr Thakur recalled that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had called Planning Commission members a "bunch of jokers", while Rahul Gandhi had torn a government ordinance and dubbed it as "nonsense".
"I wonder how (former prime minister and senior Congress leader) Manmohan Singh had stood such insults," the BJP leader said outside Parliament.
During his interactions in the UK, Rahul Gandhi had alleged that the structures of Indian democracy are under attack and there is a "full-scale assault" on the country's institutions.
He had also told British parliamentarians that microphones are often "turned off" in Lok Sabha when an opposition member raises important issues.
The Congress places "one family" above everyone else, Thakur said and added that "earlier also they used to say 'Indira is India and India is Indira". "This continues till date. It is unfortunate that instead of apologising to the House, he is cursing the Parliament and parliamentarians," he said.
The BJP leader said a gentleman tried to school Rahul Gandhi that even Indira Gandhi had refrained from commenting on Indian politics on foreign soil, but the former Congress president did not learn from him.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)