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'Speaker smiled, invited for tea…': Rahul Gandhi on speaking in Parliament

Mar 25, 2023 02:35 PM IST

Rahul Gandhi, his first press briefing day after being disqualified as MP, alleged that Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla dismissed his request to reply in Parliament with a smile.

In Rahul Gandhi’s first press conference since his disqualification from the Lok Sabha, the Congress leader alleged that Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla ignored his letters seeking time to reply to the allegations levelled against him by BJP leaders over his ‘democracy under attack’ speech in London. Upon questioning the speaker on why he was not allowed to speak in Parliament, he smiled at me and said he can’t accept it and proceeded to invite me for tea, Gandhi claimed.

Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)

Also read: 'Put me in jail...will keep going': Rahul Gandhi slams BJP on disqualification

"I went to the Speaker sir's chamber and asked why he was not allowing me to speak. He smiled and said that he can't allow that. He then asked me to have a cup of tea with him," the former Wayanad MP said.

In Gandhi's second letter released by Congress on Tuesday, the leader has urged the speaker again to allow him the ‘right to reply’ in Parliament after his first request posted on March 17 elicited no response. The letters were sent at a time when the Parliament continues to be in a logjam over the BJP's demand for an apology from Gandhi for his London remarks and the Opposition's call for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Adani-Hindenburg row.

Calling BJP's allegation that he sought foreign intervention through his Cambridge speech ‘ridiculous’, he said, “My speech made in Parliament was expunged, and later I wrote a detailed reply to the Lok Sabha Speaker...saying that this is my right to get an opportunity to speak in Parliament. I got no answers.”

Read | Rahul Gandhi presser: 10 things Cong leader said about Adani, disqualification

Gandhi also said that he does not care if he permanently loses his MP status, adding that the reason for his disqualification was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's fear of his next speech on Adani. "I have seen it in his eyes," he said.

On Friday, Gandhi was disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha, a day after his conviction by the Surat court in the defamation case over his 'Modi surname' remark.

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