Congress disrupts proceedings; Opposition stages walkout after ruckus
Anant Kumar Hegde
New Delhi: The Lok Sabha erupted on Tuesday over controversial remarks on Mahatma Gandhi made by BJP MP Ananth Kumar Hegde with Congress members disrupting proceedings in the entire first half resulting in a walkout by the Opposition in the end.
As soon as the House convened in the morning, Congress MPs Hibi Eden, Gaurav Gogoi, K Suresh and Abdul Khaleque gave adjournment motions in the House and demanded an immediate discussion.
Amid ruckus, Speaker Om Birla adjourned the House till noon.
When the House reassembled at noon, Congress members trooped into the well shouting slogans and with placards of “BJP Party Godse Party” and “Mahatma Gandhi Amar Rahein”.
At this the Speaker said: “People have elected us to debate and discuss. Please let the House run.” He also rejected all the adjournment motions.
However, the protests continued and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that Mr Hegde has “insulted” Mahatma Gandhi, who was respected by people across the globe.
He also said that they were expecting a response from parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi on the controversial remarks but they (the ruling party) are “helping” people who hate Mahatma Gandhi.
“I have no expectations from people who are doing Godse politics,” the West Bengal MP added.
To this, Mr Joshi said BJP members are real “bhakts” and followers of Mahatma Gandhi while the Congress is a follower of “nakli (fake) Gandhi like Rahul and Sonia Gandhi”.
Following this ruckus, all Opposition, including Congress, DMK, NCP and later Trinamul Congress walked out from the House.
Mr Hegde had recently said in Bangalore that freedom fighters, who did not sacrifice anything, made the country believe that it attained Independence through “Upavas Satyagrah”, Gandhi’s preferred mode of agitation.
Didn’t name Bapu in my speech: Anant Kumar Hegde
Facing flak for his controversial remarks against Mahatma Gandhi, BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde on Tuesday, in a written reply to the party leadership, asserted that he made no mention of Mahatma Gandhi in his speech and said the remarks attributed to him are “incorrect”.
Mr Hegde, sources said, sent a detailed reply to party president J.P. Nadda, and the party’s disciplinary committee, which had issued him a show-cause notice on Monday.
The party MP claimed that he did not name or insulted Mahatma Gandhi his speech and reports about his speech are “incorrect”. He also said that he did not use words like “nautanki” or “drama” to describe the freedom struggle led by Gandhi. A section within the BJP is of the view that Mr Hegde’s remarks were distorted.
Speaking in Kannada at an event in Bengaluru on Saturday to commemorate Veer Savarkar, an iconic Hindutva figure, Mr Hegde said freedom fighters who did not sacrifice anything made the country believe that it attained Independence through “Upavas Satyagrah”, Mahatma Gandhi’s preferred mode of agitation by undertaking fast.
“Such people became ‘Mahapurush’ (great person),” said Mr Hegde. The Gandhi-led freedom struggle was an “adjustment” with the British, he said, suggesting that contribution of freedom fighters who were not associated with the Congress were undermined.