‘Scurrilous, slanderous… let me answer to the BJP,’ says Rahul Gandhi to Lok Sabha Speaker.

CONGRESSIONAL LEADER Rahul Gandhi has written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, requesting an opportunity to respond to “scurrilous and defamatory claims” levelled by the BJP against him, even as the main Opposition party claims that Treasury benches are deliberately disrupting Parliamentary proceedings on the issue.

The BJP has demanded an apology from Gandhi for remarks he made during a recent trip to the United Kingdom in which he said Indian democracy was under attack. Both Houses’ operations have been disrupted by disruptions, with BJP MPs demanding Gandhi’s apology and the Opposition requesting a Joint Parliamentary Committee to investigate claims against the Adani Group.

In a letter to the Speaker on March 18, Gandhi also stated he had written to him the previous day, seeking permission to “respond to absolutely unsubstantiated and unfair charges hurled at me by senior Ministers in the Lok Sabha”.

“I’m making the same request again. “I am requesting permission in accordance with the conventions of Parliamentary practise, the Constitutionally ingrained rules of natural justice, and Rule 357 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha,” he wrote. The rule stipulates that a member may make a personal explanation with the permission of the Speaker.

“Both inside and outside Parliament, members of the ruling regime have launched slanderous and defamatory charges against me.” As a result of these charges and the rules invoked by these individuals, it is only fair that you provide me with the chance to respond as provided in Rule 357, which allows for personal explanations,” he wrote.

He also used the example of then-Union Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad invoking the rule to explain statements made about him in Parliament by Jyotiraditya Scindia in 2015. Scindia, who is currently a BJP MP and Minister, was a Congress MP at the time. Gandhi stated that the right to reply was not limited to replying to statements made in Parliament, citing various examples from the Lok Sabha digital library.

Similarly, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Shaktisinh Gohil said that the ruling party was disrupting the proceedings twice on Tuesday. “For the first time in our country’s history, the ruling party is not allowing Parliament to function and is interrupting the House,” Gohil told reporters at the party headquarters.

He stated that the opposition was asking a JPC to investigate the claims against the Adani Group because common people’s money was being squandered. He said Gandhi was replying to a question about democracy when he said, “the problem is in my nation; the solution would also come from my country”.

He said the BJP was pressing the demand for an apology “simply to divert attention from the Adani problem”. “This is their plan. They can’t point the finger at the opposition. “The ruling party is to blame for the house not working,” Gohil stated.

Trinamool Congress MPs staged a rally calling for Gautam Adani’s arrest earlier. According to TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien, the BJP is blocking Parliament because they do not want to discuss the Adani issue. He urged all non-BJP-ruled states to conduct investigations into the claims. When asked when the TMC-ruled West Bengal government would launch such an investigation, O’Brien responded it was up to the state government.

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Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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