Rahul Gandhi’s claim of the microphones in Parliament being turned off as a means of censorship failed to find any takers ahead of an all-party meeting on Monday. According to sources, except Congress and DMK, all other parties in the meeting refuted Rahul Gandhi’s allegation that Members of Parliament are not allowed to speak in the House and the microphone is turned off.
Even the JDU, which had earlier come out in Rahul Gandhi’s defence, did not agree with the Congress MP’s allegation.
After the disagreement, the Congress and the DMK walked out of the Business Advisory Committee meeting that was convened by the Speaker at 1:30 pm on Monday to discuss the proceedings of the Lok Sabha. Leaders of all parties were present. However, Congress’s Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary and DMK’s TR Baalu walked out after boycotting the meeting.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary said that the government does not allow the opposition to speak in the House.
Rahul Gandhi, while speaking in the Grand Committee room of the British Parliament in London, earlier this month said: “Our mics are not out of order, they are functioning, but you still can’t switch them on. That’s happened to me a number of times while I am speaking.” Gandhi was addressing around 90 people, including Lords, Dames, MPs, academicians, the public, and members of the media.
This was not the first time that Rahul Gandhi levelled the allegation. Even during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi sought to demonstrate his charge over how microphones would be switched off in Parliament.
The comment earned Rahul Gandhi the ire of the BJP-led Centre. Even Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar lashed out at him. ” “I am Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha is a huge panchayat where mics have never been turned off. Someone goes out & says mics are turned off in this nation…yes there was a time during Emergency when mics were turned off,” Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar said.
Earlier, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman and JD(U) MP Harivansh Narayan Singh had slammed Rahul Gandhi for his comments. “”…I’d like to say it’s absolutely false, baseless. Nothing can be more false than this. I’ve been in Parliament for past 9 yrs & not once have I heard anything like that from anyone..,” he said.
However, soon after that, JD(U) chief Rajeev Ranjan (aka Lalan Singh) came out in defence of Gandhi, saying that Harivansh N Singh must have been pressured into making the comments.