Rahul Gandhi vs PM Modi in Lok Sabha over 'Hindu' remarks; BJP demands apology

Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervened during Gandhi's speech, stating that calling the entire Hindu society violent is a serious issue.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Parliament session, in New Delhi.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Parliament session, in New Delhi.Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: In a fiery speech in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi launched a sharp attack on the ruling BJP, asserting that Hinduism is not about spreading fear, hatred and falsehoods.

His remarks came during a discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the president's address to a joint sitting of Parliament.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervened during Gandhi's speech, stating that calling the entire Hindu society violent is a serious issue.

Gandhi retorted, saying "the BJP and the RSS are not the entire Hindu society".

After the exchange amid a war of words between the Opposition and the ruling NDA's MPs, union minister Amit Shah demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi.

Shah spoke of the Emergency and 1984 anti-Sikhs riots to hit back at Gandhi, saying he has no right to talk about non-violence when the Congress had spread "terror" in the country.

The Congress leader further emphasised that all religions talk about courage, citing Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism to underline the importance of fearlessness.

He accused the BJP of launching systematic attacks on the Constitution and the fundamental idea of India, noting that millions of people have resisted the ideas proposed by the ruling party.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Parliament session, in New Delhi.
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"I was attacked on the orders of Prime Minister Modi. There were 20-plus cases (against me), (my) house was taken away, 55 hours of interrogation by the ED," Gandhi said.

Despite these challenges, the MP from Rae Bareli expressed pride in the collective effort to protect the Constitution.

"It feels nice that BJP people are now repeating 'Jai samvidhan' after me," he said. Gandhi also expressed his contentment at being in the opposition.

"I am happy and proud to be in the opposition. For us, there is something more than power, it is the truth," he said.

During his speech, Gandhi showed a picture of Lord Shiva, which prompted Speaker Om Birla to remind him that rules do not allow displaying placards in the House.

Gandhi reiterated that all religions, including Islam and Sikhism, emphasise courage and the importance of being fearless.

The Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi also slammed government over Agnipath issue, he said that Agniveer is 'use-and-throw labour' for the BJP government.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Parliament session, in New Delhi.
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He also said that agnipath scheme is the brainchild of PM Modi not of armed forces.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh intervened Rahul Gandhi and said he was misleading the House on Agniveers.

Rahul Gandhi also said that the Prime Minsiter is yet to visit the violent-hit state of Manipur. "Politics, policies of BJP have burnt down Manipur, pushed it into civil war," he said.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Parliament session, in New Delhi.
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Rahul Gandhi also accused the government of not allowing discussion on NEET.

"NEET is not a professional exam, it's a commercial exam; it is designed to suit rich students. Truth is NEET students do not believe in the exam, they think it's designed for rich students and not the meritorious, " Rahul Gandhi said.

"NEET students spend years and years preparing for their exams. Their families support them financially and emotionally, and the truth is that NEET students today do not believe in the exam because they are convinced that the exam is designed for the rich and not for meritorious people," he said.

"I have met with several NEET students. Every single one of them tells me that the exam is designed to create a quota for rich people and a passage for them into the system. It is not designed to help poor students," Gandhi claimed.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Parliament session, in New Delhi.
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Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Parliament session, in New Delhi.
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