Scuffle between BJP-Cong MPs in LS over Rahul”s ”danda” remarks
NEW DELHI : Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on young men “beating Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a danda (stick)” and the ruling BJP’s condemnation set up chaos in parliament today, with rival MPs almost coming to blows.
“Congress MPs came to my seat in the house, tried to attack me and snatch my papers,” alleged Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who had raised Rahul Gandhi’s comments in the Lok Sabha and demanded his apology.
The issue was raised by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan during Question Hour condemning Gandhi’s “disrespectful” remarks against the PM while addressing a rally in poll-bound Delhi on Wednesday.
The Minister said “we condemn” the remarks made by Gandhi against Prime Minister. As Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla tried to stop the Minister while reading a statement over the issue, Harsh Vardhan continued leading the ruckus in the House.
It all started when Rahul Gandhi, the Congress MP asked a question on medical colleges. The Health Minister, instead of answering him, proceeded to read a statement condemning the comments he had made against the PM at a rally to campaign for the Delhi election.
“Sir, please excuse me. Before I begin answering this question of dear Shri Rahul Gandhi-ji. I want to condemn in no uncertain words the outlandish language that he has used against the prime minister of the country,” Harsh Vardhan said. Speaker Om Birla asked the minister to stick to his answer but he continued to read out his statement.
Harsh Vardhan said before he answers the question put up by Gandhi he wanted to condemn in no uncertain words “the outlandish language Gandhi has used against the Prime Minister of the country”. Harsh Vardhan, who made the remarks amid uproar, said he was surprised at Gandhi”s remarks as his father was a Prime Minister of the country.
“In the worst of cases, BJP leaders have not made such outlandish personal remarks against Gandhi. The entire House must in unequivocal terms condemn his language against the Prime Minister,” Harsh Vardhan said.
As furious Congress members crowded around the speaker’s chair shouting slogans against Harsh Vardhan, a Congress MP from Tamil Nadu, Manickam Tagore, walked over to the government benches and appeared to be trying to get to Harsh Vardhan, who was in the second row.
A BJP member, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, was seen holding back the Congress MP by his arm. Another Congress MP, Hibi Eden, plunged into the mess. Soon, several MPs and union ministers, including Smriti Irani, rushed to stop a physical fight. “Guys, what are you doing. What is going on,” Smriti Irani said.
In the midst of all this, Harsh Vardhan did not stop reading his statement. “In a recent speech, he (Gandhi) used words like six mahine baad, iss desh ka yuva, Narendra Modi ko dande maar maar ke desh se bahar karenge. (In six months, the unemployed youth will beat Modi with sticks and throw him out).
I don’t think in the worst of cases our party leaders have made such outlandish personal remarks against him threatening to beat him with dandas (sticks) and throwing him out of the country,” the Health Minister said, urging the house to condemn the comments.
Speaking to the media outside the House, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi dubbed Tagore”s attempt height of “gundaism”. “After Rahul Gandhi”s instigation, they (Congress MPs) thought of taking the ”danda” way. This was an attempt to manhandle Dr Harsh Vardhan. This shows the frustration level of the Congress and is height of gundaism.”
The former Congress President was addressing a rally in poll-bound Delhi when said that Modi will “not be able to step out of his house in six months from now. The youth of India will beat him with sticks to make him understand that without employment, the country can never progress.” The Congress rally was in Old Delhi”s Hauz Qazi area.
The Prime Minister on Thursday gave a befitting reply to Gandhi over his ”danda” jibe, saying he would be sufficiently prepared given his pursuance of yoga in the last 20 years. He said his back has become ”danda-proof”, and he will further strengthen it with more surya namaskars.
Replying to a debate on Motion of Thanks to the President”s address, Modi on Thursday said: “I heard a Congress leader say that youth will hit Modi with sticks in six months. I have decided that I will increase my frequency of ”surya namaskar” so that my back becomes so strong that it can bear the hits.”