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Rahul Gandhi’s remarks in Parliament on Agniveer, minorities expunged amid row



Rahul Gandhi’s remarks in Parliament on Agniveer, minorities expunged amid row

Rahul Gandhi’s remarks in Parliament on Agniveer, minorities expunged amid row

Rahul Gandhi on Monday slammed the BJP for communal divisiveness during a parliamentary debate, leading to some of his statements being expunged from the record amidst significant backlash from the ruling party.

Hours after the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi, launched a no-holds-barred attack on the BJP on Monday, some of his statements were expunged from the Parliament.

The Congress leader accused the leaders of the ruling party of dividing people on communal lines, drawing massive protests from the treasury benches, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi slamming him for calling the entire Hindu community violent.

Rahul Gandhi was speaking during the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address to a joint sitting of Parliament.

Gandhi quoted Prophet Muhammad to highlight that the Quran talks about fearlessness.

Holding up pictures of Lord Shiva, Guru Nanak, and Jesus Christ, he referred to Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism and Jainism to underline the importance of fearlessness. He also cited the attributes of Lord Shiva and the teachings of Guru Nanak, Jesus Christ, Buddha, and Mahavir to state that all religions and great people say, “daro mat, darao mat” (do not be scared, do not scare others)”.

As Rahul Gandhi’s remarks triggered an uproar from the treasury benches, it further led to the Chair striking it off record.

The statements by Gandhi that got expunged from the Parliament proceedings were his accusations on the BJP, stating that the party is treating minorities unfairly, his remarks on industrialists Adani and Ambani, his accusations that the NEET exam is for rich people and there is no place in it for meritorious students, and that the Agniveer Scheme is not of the Indian Army, but of the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office).

Besides PM Modi, who intervened twice, at least five cabinet ministers interjected during Gandhi’s speech, which lasted for about an hour and 40 minutes, with Home Minister Amit Shah demanding an apology from him.

“It is not just one religion that talks about courage. In fact, all our religions talk about courage,” Gandhi said in his debut speech as the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, as Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra watched from the visitors’ gallery.

As the treasury bench members stood up in protest, Gandhi slammed the BJP, saying, “Aap Hindu ho hi nahi” (You are not Hindus). It is clearly written in Hinduism that one should stand with the truth and not back down from the truth or be scared of it,” he said.

Modi, intervening in his speech, said, “This issue is very serious. Calling the entire Hindu community violent is a serious issue.”

In his concluding remarks, Gandhi asked the ruling party not to spread fear or hatred.

“Do not think of the opposition as your enemies. We are ready to discuss anything you want to. Let us work together to take the country forward,” he said.

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