Deliberate design by BJP to throttle the voice of opposition: Congress leader Adhir
Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also said that he had been hanged without trial referring to his suspension
Two days after being suspended from Lok Sabha, Leader of Congress in the Lower House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Saturday dubbed his suspension “a deliberate design by the ruling party to throttle the voice of the opposition” while remarking that he had been “hanged without trial”.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, the Congress leader said: “It is a new phenomenon we have never before experienced during our career in Parliament. As it has been issued by the Speaker Lok Sabha, I cannot disobey his order or direction or anything whatsoever. But very steadfastly and with all command, I said that I did not have a remote objective to disparage or tarnish anyone whosoever in the Parliament.”
Chowdhury explained that if anything is termed unparliamentary then the Speaker has the right to delete or expunge it.
“But I don’t know why for one or two words which were misunderstood by them as offensive, they may protest the Speaker according to the permission of the rules and procedures in the rule book and got those words expunged. But what I have experienced is that there is a deliberate design by the ruling party to throttle the voice of the opposition by resorting to various unfavoury instruments which should not be applied on me,” the Congress Lok Sabha MP said.
He said that I have been hanged and thereafter I will have to face the trial.
“It is a very cruel situation, first of all I have to be hanged and then I have to go for the trial. Then again, I with all respect to the command of the House that I cannot contradict the direction of the Chair but if I find that this kind of situation could be resolved by court. I may try also,” the Congress leader said, adding that because otherwise the essence of the Indian parliament will be done away.
“So naturally it is cruel and very precarious and as well as the retrogressive steps being taken by the government itself. So this kind of retrogressive steps will certainly undermine the spirit of Parliamentary democracy,” Chowdhury said.
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his criticism of the INDIA alliance, Chowdhury said, “Why is Modiji opposed to the word INDIA?…There is no difference between India and Bharat.”
He also said that the Prime Minister has already launched several schemes titled Startup India and many others.
Chowdhury was suspended from the House on Thursday for making objectionable comments on the Prime Minister in his speech during the no-confidence motion discussion.
Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had finished his speech in the no-confidence motion debate on Thursday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi moved a resolution for Chowdhury’s suspension – with no one present in the Opposition Benches – accusing him of “disturbing” the House.
The resolution was passed by a voice vote.
Chowdhury also said that the BJP government had thrown all the parliamentary traditions to the winds using its brute majority to pass various laws without letting the opposition to discuss in the Parliament.
The Congress leader pointed out, how bills and laws were passed in the parliament against the tradition, while discussion was going on, on the ‘No Confidence Motion’ against the government.
He also said that 28 ‘No Confidence Motions’ had been presented and discussed in the parliament so far and never in the country’s parliamentary history, legislations were passed while the discussion was pending. He said the government passed 22 bills and legislation in the parliament during the period the ‘No Confidence Motion’ was pending.
Justifying the language he used in the parliament during his speech on ‘No Confidence Motion’, Chowdhury said, such metaphors are used even in day-to-day communications. He said a new “saffron grammar” and a new dictionary was being imposed on parliamentary discourse, according to which the ruling party members had the freedom to say anything and everything, while the opposition members had to remain restricted and restrained lest they offend the government.
To another question of why he did not apologise, he made it categorically clear, whenever he felt he had committed any mistake or hurt anyone, he had apologized from the heart. “But I cannot satiate the thirst of vengeance and retaliation”, he remarked, while asserting that his suspension was an act of vengeance by the government.
The Congress Lok Sabha leader said, the least they had expected from the Prime Minister was to speak on Manipur. Taking a dig at the Prime Minister’s marathon speech of over two hours, he said, in this speech he could spare just three minutes for Manipur. He pointed out, it was the opposition, which through ‘Motion of No Confidence’ had forced the Prime Minister to come to the house and speak.
To another question, he said, the Prime Minister and his government had completely failed in tackling the situation in Manipur. He pointed out, even the Home Minister Amit Shah had himself admitted about creating “buffer zones” between two warring factions of Kukis and Meities in Manipur.