Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge joined a party protest near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in parliament today. The protest began soon after both Houses were adjourned for the day in a standoff over Rahul Gandhi’s “democracy-under-attack” remarks in London.
Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge sat on chairs as the MPs protested holding placards and chanting slogans pressing for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) inquiry into the Adani-Hindenburg row.
Parliament has been repeatedly stalled with the ruling BJP demanding an apology from Rahul Gandhi for his remarks in London, and the opposition aggressively pushing for a Joint Parliamentary Committee inquiry into the allegations of US short-seller Hindenburg against the Adani Group and the fallout of the subsequent fall in Adani stocks.
BJP sources have said they won’t let Rahul Gandhi speak in the House unless he apologises. The audio of the proceedings in parliament were muted this morning.
After about 20 minutes of chaos, Speaker Om Birla adjourned Lok Sabha for the day. Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and several other Union ministers were present in the House.
The Congress, repeating Rahul Gandhi’s charge that the mics of opposition leaders were muted, took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Earlier, the mic used to be turned off, today even the proceedings of the House were muted. The house is mute for PM Modi’s friend,” the Congress tweeted.
Parliament has not functioned for the fifth straight day since the Budget Session resumed on March 13.
Rahul Gandhi had alleged in London that the structures of Indian democracy are under attack and there is a “full-scale assault” on the country’s institutions.
The BJP has accused Rahul Gandhi of maligning India on foreign soil and seeking foreign intervention. The Congress has hit back, citing examples of PM Modi raising internal politics abroad.