Hitting back, Rahul Gandhi dares govt to hold debate in Parliament on issues raised by Opposition

New Delhi: Asserting that it is the government’s responsibility to run Parliament, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said if the Centre has the courage, it should allow debate on issues of public importance raised by the opposition.

“They are attacking democracy. There is a non-stop attack on democracy and that is why we are fighting here,” Gandhi said, accusing the government of not allowing debate on price rise, Lakhimpur Kheri and other issues.

He was asked about the government’s charge that the opposition was not allowing Parliament to function.

“What kind of government is this that it does not know how to handle Parliament? They cannot stop our voice in raising issues like price rise, Lakhimpur, MSP, Ladakh, Pegasus and suspended MPs. If you have the courage, allow the discussion to take place,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

The former Congress chief also said the government should remove its Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra and allow a discussion on the Lakhimpur Kheri issue to enable the Parliament to function.

“It is the responsibility of the government to bring the house in order and run it and not of the opposition,” he told reporters outside Parliament.

“It is clear, we want that the government to remove its minister and allow a discussion on the Lakhimpur Kheri issue. The government is not allowing it,” he said when asked about why they were not allowing the house to function.

“It is the responsibility of the government to run Parliament. You see the rules and read them, it is the government’s responsibility and not ours. It is also the government’s responsibility to allow a debate,” he said.

The Congress leader said he wanted to raise the issue of grant of statehood to Ladakh, but was not allowed to do so.

“I want to tell all people of Ladakh. Daro mat (Don’t be afraid). Whatever is yours, you will get,” he said.

Opposition parties earlier did not attend a meeting convened by the government to end the standoff over the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha members, as none of the opposition leaders attended.

Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu also expressed concern and disappointment over no resolution being worked out over the issue of suspensions.

Gandhi earlier gave an adjournment notice in Lok Sabha seeking grant of statehood to Ladakh and grazing rights to the people living in border areas of Ladakh.

“I moved an adjournment motion to raise the issue of Ladakh and the struggle my brothers and sisters in Ladakh are going through, asking for their rights for their statehood. I wanted to support them and I wanted to raise their issue in Parliament. Unfortunately, the government does not allow us to raise it.

“So I wanted to give a message to everybody in Ladakh that we are with you and we are going to raise your issue. Unfortunately, the government is not interested in allowing us to raise your issue,” he said, adding that there is a lot of anger and pain in Ladakh over the issue of statehood to Ladakh.

He alleged that whatever important issues they wanted to raise, the government is not allowing.

“Our people have been suspended, but the government is not allowing us to discuss the issue. And then we are being accused of not allowing the house to function,” he said.

Asked about claims of phone tapping of leaders, Gandhi referred to the Pegasus snooping row.

“We wanted a discussion, but the government did not allow it also,’ he said. –

PTI

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