Rahul Gandhi meets LS Speaker, says reference to Emergency could have been avoided

It was a courtesy call during which Gandhi also raised the issue of Emergency being invoked by the Speaker in the House, AICC general.
Leader of Opposition in 18th Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi
Leader of Opposition in 18th Lok Sabha Rahul GandhiFile

NEW DELHI: Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi met Speaker Om Birla on Thursday and voiced his displeasure over the reference to Emergency made by the chair, saying it was "clearly political" and could have been avoided.

It was a courtesy call during which Gandhi also raised the issue of Emergency being invoked by the Speaker in the House, AICC general secretary K C Venugopal told reporters after the meeting in Parliament House.

"It was a courtesy call. The Speaker declared Rahul Gandhi as the Leader of Opposition and after that he along with other INDIA alliance partner leaders met the Speaker," he said.

Asked whether Gandhi discussed the issue of Emergency being raised in the House, Venugopal said, "We discussed so many things about Parliament functioning.Of course, this issue also came up."

"Rahul ji, as Leader of Opposition, informed the Speaker about this issue, and said it could have been avoided from the Speaker's reference. That is clearly a political reference, it could have been avoided," the Congress leader said.

Leader of Opposition in 18th Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi
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Soon after his election as Lok Sabha Speaker, Birla had on Wednesday set off a firestorm by reading out a resolution condemning the imposition of Emergency as an attack on the Constitution by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi, an act that triggered vociferous protests by Congress member in the House.

Birla recalled that it was on June 26, 1975 that the country woke up to the cruel realities of Emergency, when the Congress government jailed opposition leaders, imposed many restrictions on the media and also curbed the autonomy of the Judiciary.

This is Gandhi's first meeting with the Speaker after he assumed charge as the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

He was accompanied by SP's Dharmendra Yadav, DMK's Kanimozhi, Shiv Sena's (SP) Supriya Sule and TMC's Kalyan Banerjee, besides some others.

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