After disqualification, Rahul asked to vacate his bungalow
By G Krishna Mohan Rao*
New Delhi: After both Houses of Parliament got adjourned for the day once again today, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party this evening came out with a notice issued to Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi to vacate the 12, Tughlakabad Lane Bungalow, which is expected further aggravate the Opposition tomorrow.
The Housing Committee of the Lok Sabha issued the notice to Gandhi to vacate his official bungalow against the backdrop of his conviction in the defamation case pertaining to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname, with a punishment of two years jail term.
After the notice to Rahul to vacate the bungalow, the Congress Party held a meeting of the leaders of opposition parties at the residence of Congress president Mallikharjun Kharge to review the latest situation and discussed the strategy to be adopted.
Sources said that Rahul Gandhi can write to the Housing Committee seeking an extended stay, a request that can be considered by the panel. The notification issued to Rahul to vacate his bungalow was marked to various departments, including the Directorate of Estates, and New Delhi Municipal Council, and all the benefits available to Gandhi as a member of Parliament, too, are under review.
Papers thrown at Lok Sabha Speaker; Opposition appeared in black dress
The stalemate in the Parliament has continued over the last two weeks, and both Houses of Parliament today again got adjourned with strong protests from the Opposition parties on the Adani row. Papers were thrown at Speaker Om Birla amid heavy sloganeering on the Adani issue. The Congress MPs as well as a few other Opposition MPs came to Parliament in ‘black’ robes as a mark of protest against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha.
In the Lok Sabha, the atmosphere was highly surcharged when the House met at 11 am, with all Congress Party MPs in black robes along with selected other Opposition MPs as well. The moment the House proceedings were to begin all the Congress MPs were on their feet some rushing into the well with slogans. The Speaker got the House adjourned till 4 pm soon after papers were thrown at him amid the ruckus. The Rajya Sabha also adjourned till 2 pm minutes after it commenced its proceedings amid heavy sloganeering. The Finance Bill was passed and returned by the Rajya Sabha in those few minutes. The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bill, 2023 was considered and returned as well amid the din.
The Parliament entered into its third week of a logjam as the Opposition tried to attack the ruling government over the Adani issue ever since the Hindenburg report on the global agglomerate became public. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs on the other hand cornered former Congress MP Rahul Gandhi against his ‘democracy in danger’ speech in London. Rahul Gandhi was even called a traitor like Mir Jafar by the BJP who accused him of discussing the country’s internal issues at a global forum. The BJP has asked for an apology from Gandhi for his comments which the Congress firmly denied.
Earlier in the day, leaders of like-minded opposition parties held a meeting at Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge’s office to chalk out their strategy in the Parliament. After that Congress Parliamentary Party meeting was held in which former Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi also participated. On the treasury benches side also Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with top cabinet ministers ahead of the day’s proceedings in parliament.
Each time when both the Houses got adjourned today, the Congress-led Opposition gathered at the Gandhi Statue at the Parliament premises amid slogans of ‘Modi-Adani bhai bhai’ and ‘ We want JPC’.
Besides, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Trinamul Congress (TMC) also showed a rare display of Opposition unity in the Parliament as well as outside the Parliament as they were part of the protest against the Adani issue and Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification. Last week, it may be recalled Congress floor leader in Lok Sabha Adair Ranjan Choudhary made strong comments against Trinamul leader Mamata Banerjee. Following this, there were heated exchanges between the two parties.
Later in the evening today, Congress president Kharge tweeted: “To protect PM’s ‘Param Mitr‘, BJP stalls Parliament that discusses people’s issues. If NO wrong is committed, why is Govt shying away from [the] Opposition’s demand of a probe by Joint Parliamentary Committee?”.
Government sources indicated that Parliament may be adjourned sine die either tomorrow or the day after since the Opposition is in no mood to relent and they do not see any point in any kind of consensus to break the present logjam.