News Karnataka
Tuesday, March 28 2023

Monsoon session Day 4: Bjp demands apology from Rahul, threatens of lawsuit

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New Delhi: The fourth day of the monsoon session witnessed a dramatic twist with the BJP demanding an apology from Rahul Gandhi for the comment he made on Sushma Swaraj earlier.
gadkariThe situation occurred a day after Rahul Gandhi described External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as a “criminal” for her involvement in the Lalit Modi scandal. During the session, the central government hit back by threatening to file a defamation suit, if the Congress party vice president didn’t apologise.

Referring to Gandhi’s words as “unfortunate and undemocratic”, Union Minister Nitin Sadkari said, “I am demanding that Rahul Gandhi make an apology to the country because he is not only defaming Sushma Swaraj, he is defaming the foreign ministry of the country.”

He further went on to say that Swaraj had not violated any law or the constitution, and she was not embroiled in any corruption or illegal activity.

Rahul Gandhi, on Wednesday, made the comment as to Swaraj being a criminal because she is said to have helped fugitive Lalit Modi to procure travel documents from the British authorities, last year, while he was being investigated by the Indian government for financial irregularities and money laundering in connection with the IPL cricket tournament.

“Sushma ji has done a criminal act. She is a minister of the government and the whole country knows she has done a criminal act,” Gandhi told the media. “If you do a criminal act, you go to jail.”

Defending Gandhi, Rajya Sabha Opposition Leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that criticising the government is not defamation. “And if this is defamation, then what the BJP has said over the past 10 years, every MP can be slapped with a hundred cases,” he said.

Since Tuesday, the Congress Party has blocked parliamentary proceedings while demanding the resignations of Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who is also embroiled in the Lalit Modi scandal, and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.

Swaraj has admitted to helping Lalit Modi on “humanitarian grounds” so that he could visit his wife while she was undergoing treatment for cancer in Lisbon, but the foreign minister bypassed established procedures to handles requests from fugitives. The cricket-magnate has also said that Swaraj’s husband and daughter have provided him free legal services for several years, and he has “close” relations with their family.

Meanwhile, Raje backed Lalit Modi’s immigration application in 2011, when she was Leader of the Opposition, on the condition that her support would be hidden from the Indian government.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party has offered a discussion on the controversies, the Opposition has demanded resignations before entering into any debate. Today, BJP leaders sat ondharnanear the Mahatma Gandhi statue near the parliament building to protest against the disruptions over the past four days

Political rivals made jibes over the Modi government resorting to protests. Aam Aadmi Party’s Kumar Vishwas quipped that perhaps they were appealing to U.S. President Barack Obama.

But the Opposition remains unmoved. “There should be action, action means resignation and then discussion,” Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said on Friday.

Around four minutes after Lok Sabha convened today, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the lower house till Monday as the opposition continued its call for resignations. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned in the afternoon in the midst of chaos in the upper house.

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