The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday waged a war of words over Rahul Gandhi's comments that Lok Sabha Speaker Sumita Mahajan was being partial and the Narendra Modi government does not allow discussion in Parliament.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)
Rahul had joined protesting members of Parliament in the Well of the House as they demanded a debate on the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill and rising incidents of communal clashes in the country.
Read: Rahul slams 'partial' Lok Sabha Speaker, says only one man's voice heard in Parliament
Hitting at the Congress vice-president's aggressive behaviour in the House, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the Congress party needs to introspect as it was under pressure and its own leaders were speaking out.
"The Congress is facing a coup within the party. Day after day, established leaders of the party are speaking out but for that you need not drag the House or the presiding officer into the debate. If you want to show yourself as doing something, it will be better if you lead your own party rather than develop a contrived aggression against the functioning of the house," Jaitley said.
"It's time for the Congress party to introspect itself," he added.
Taking a dig at Gandhi's accusation that Speaker Mahajan was not allowing the opposition to speak, Jaitley said: "The Congress is saying they are not being allowed to talk but there are some leaders in the party who do not speak at all in the house and yet are leveling such allegations."
"A section of the leadership of the Congress party, because of its inability to lead, has been under pressure," Jaitley said.
"The Congress party has participated in every discussion. At times they have disturbed the house and not allowed it to go on. There is not a single instance where they have not been allowed to raise issues."
Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament that his party is not being allowed to speak in Parliament adding that there is a mentality in the government that discussion is not acceptable.
"There is a mood in Parliament that only one man's voice counts for anything in this country," he said after Congress members stormed the Well of the House demanding a discussion on growing incidents of communal tension.
The Lok Sabha Speaker too rejected Rahul's allegation of bias and said equal opportunity is given to all members and parties.
On her part, Congress president Sonia Gandhi brushed aside Jaitley's allegations of internal rebellion within the Congress.
"Let them say whatever they want to," she said.
(With PTI and IANS inputs)