‘You should have stood straight in front of me and bowed down in front of PM Modi…’, Rahul Gandhi’s statement on Om Birla, got this reply

In a dramatic session of the Lok Sabha today, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi brought a new issue to the fore with his scathing remarks on Speaker Om Birla, stressing on the impartiality required for the post. In his critical statement, Gandhi said, “Mr. Speaker, when you were seated on the chair, I walked with you to your chair. You are the final arbiter of the Lok Sabha. What you say basically defines Indian democracy.”

Rahul Gandhi said, “Mr. Speaker, there are two people sitting on the chair, the Lok Sabha Speaker and Om Birla. When I shook hands with you, you stood up straight and shook hands with me. When Modi ji shook hands with you, you bowed down.” The comment drew an immediate reaction from Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who accused Gandhi of disrespecting the chair. Speaker Om Birla then addressed Gandhi’s comments directly and spoke about his actions.

Om Birla said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the leader of the House. My sanskaar says that we should bow down to those who are elder to us and stand straight in front of those who are equal to us. In a measured response, Gandhi reiterated his respect for the words of the Speaker but maintained his stance on the importance of the role of the Speaker. Gandhi said, “I respect your words, but there is no one bigger than the Speaker in this House.”

Speaking during the discussion on the motion of thanks on the President’s address in a joint sitting of Parliament, the Congress leader raised a picture of Lord Shiva and said his message was about fearlessness and non-violence. He also cited teachings of other religions to make a similar point. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi on Monday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying those who call themselves Hindus are always engaged in “spreading violence and hatred”, to which members of the ruling party strongly objected and Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that calling the entire Hindu society violent is a very serious matter. However, Rahul Gandhi responded by saying that he was talking about the BJP and the BJP, Narendra Modi ji or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is not the entire Hindu society. Amit Shah demanded an apology from Rahul.

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