To criticise govt's authoritarianism is inalienable right: CPI(M) on Rahul's 'democracy' remark

The latest edition of the party's mouthpiece, People's Democracy, also hit out at the government over its response to the allegations made against the Adani group.

Published: 23rd March 2023 04:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2023 04:17 PM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: The CPI(M) on Thursday defended Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his democracy remark in the UK, saying while his appreciation of American democracy is "naive", his right to criticise the government's "authoritarianism" was inalienable.

The latest edition of the party's mouthpiece, People's Democracy, also hit out at the government over its response to the allegations made against the Adani group.

Recently, Adani Group stocks had taken a beating on the bourses after Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share-price manipulation, against the conglomerate.

The Gautam Adani-led group has dismissed the charges as lies, saying it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements.

The editorial alleged that the government's disruption of Parliament proceedings over remarks made by Gandhi was a pretext to prevent any discussion about the Adani-Hindenburg issue.

The plan is now to cut short the second half of the Budget session by "guillotining" the demands for grants and passing the finance bill without any discussion, the editorial claimed.

Matters related to the issue required explanation and discussion in Parliament, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) asserted in the editorial.

"Instead of doing so, we saw on the opening day of Parliament, the Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh, leading the attack on Rahul Gandhi and demanding his apology," the editorial said, referring to March 13 when Parliament reassembled for the Budget Session's second part.

The remarks made by Gandhi and the criticism that he made about democracy being under threat and being suppressed by the Narendra Modi government is something that would be voiced by all Opposition leaders, it said.

"The charge that he was being unpatriotic for making it on foreign soil is a bogus one because attacking the role of a government is not the same as attacking one's country," the editorial said.

"One does not have to subscribe to all the opinions voiced by Rahul Gandhi in the United Kingdom, including his naive appreciation of American democracy in his Cambridge speech, but the right to criticise the government's authoritarianism is a right which is inalienable whether it is made within the country or abroad," it said.

The prime minister, the editorial said, in the face of questions during the debate on the President's address in Parliament in February, replied to the debate in both Houses of Parliament -- Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha -- for hours together without uttering the name of Adani even once.

"This reminds one of a character in the Harry Potter novels, the evil Lord Voldemort, who is too dangerous and powerful to be called by his name.

So many people refer to him as 'He who must not be named'.

For Narendra Modi and the BJP, it seems Gautam Adani is the one who must not be named, lest the nexus between Modi and Adani be exposed," it said.

Since the start of the second part of the Budget Session on March 13, both Houses of Parliament have failed to transact any significant business due to the protests by the treasury benches against Gandhi for his London remarks and by the opposition over its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Adani issue.

India Matters


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