M A I N   N E W S

Combative Rahul takes on Modi, says only one man’s voice counts
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 6
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today drew top BJP leadership into a war of words by launching a frontal attack on PM Narendra Modi and saying that only “one man’s voice (read Modi’s) counts for anything in this country”.

Coming to the forefront for the first time since the party’s Lok Sabha rout, Rahul dropped his mantle of reticence to question the PM and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan for repeatedly denying his party a chance to raise a discussion on communal discord in the country.

Rahul’s aggression triggered acerbic responses from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who touched a raw nerve of the Congress by saying its leaders were levelling allegations because the party was facing a “palace coup”. Jaitley referred to the Congress’ demand to get Priyanka Gandhi to lead.

Jaitley said: “It’s a bizarre situation where someone from the Congress who never speaks in Parliament is alleging that he is not allowed to speak…. Why did they have to make this allegation? Is it because they have trouble in their own home? They're having a palace coup.”

Days after being caught napping, Rahul today stormed the well of Lok Sabha for the first time in 10 years and voluntarily spoke to reporters about the Congress’ “voice being muzzled”.

“We are not being allowed to speak in Parliament. We are seeking a discussion, we are making a point.

The Speaker…I mean...it is completely one-sided, partiality. That's what we are raising… There is a mentality in the government that discussion is not acceptable. Everybody feels it, their party feels it and we feel it. There is a mood in Parliament that only one man's voice counts for anything in this country,” Rahul said.

The Congress wants to highlight that there have been 600 communal clashes in India within weeks of Modi's anointment as the PM. “Of these, 400 have been in segments going for byelections. An ambience is being created for riots. This is far too vital an issue to not be discussed in the House. Our most reasonable demands are being ridden roughshod. Independent decisions are not being taken (read by the Speaker),” said Congress’ Abhishek Singhvi.

Rahul said: “Tanashahi nahi chalegi…”; “Pradhan Mantri jawaab do”. The fuss was about the Speaker first postponing the communal discord discussion to the end of Question Hour, then to the end of Zero Hour and finally to business advisory panel for a final decision.





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