narendra modi: Adhir suspended for remarks on PM; both sides slug it out


The Lok Sabha on Thursday suspended Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for comparing a fugitive businessman with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi moved a motion for Chowdhury’s suspension, after the trust vote, and the Lok Sabha passed it by a voice vote. The Opposition had walked out before the conclusion of the trust vote. The motion also referred Chowdhury’s conduct to privileges committee to probe and propose further action, even as the Speaker expunged his comments.

Chowdhury’s speech had led to stormy scenes in the House. Modi was present in the House when Chowdhury was speaking. As soon as Chowdhury made the contentious comment, BJP members led by home minister Amit Shah erupted in protest and Joshi demanded Chowdhury’s apology. BJP MP Virendra Singh Mast rushed towards Chowdhury before he was stopped by senior colleagues.

Joshi then cited Rule 352(5) and demanded Chowdhury’s remark be expunged as “PM is the highest authority”. Chowdhury had invited the wrath of the Treasury also by talking about a blind king while referring to violence in Manipur. After the trust vote, Speaker Om Birla said Chowdhury’s and Mast’s conduct were unacceptable. Mast offered an apology and said he held the House and the Chair in esteem, “but I couldn’t take it when my leader was insulted.”

Joshi moved the resolution and said Chowdhury was a ‘habitual offender’ who made ‘unacceptable’ and ‘baseless’ charges against the government and ministers. Joshi said Chowdhury was unapologetic about his conduct on Thursday.

In his speech, Chowdhury said, “the power of no-confidence motion has brought the prime minister to Parliament today. None of us were thinking about moving this no-confidence motion. We were only demanding that PM Modi should come to Parliament and speak on Manipur. Our demand was not to a BJP member but to the prime minister of the nation to come to Parliament.”

Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said the Opposition was trying to build their launchpad by ‘misusing’ the Manipur incident. “What is happening in Manipur is highly condemnable, no Indian citizen can support this, it is condemnable for all. All the issues in the northeast started with the Congress party’s politics of appeasement when they started the practice of bringing in foreign infiltrators in the northeast, giving them citizenship, shelter and identity, for their own advantage,” said Scindia who was a Congress minister and MP before his defection in 2020. “I was at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. We came to know that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are coming to meet us. They didn’t come to meet us. They met the Communist Party of China. They should be tried for treason,” said former Olympian and ex-minister Rajyavardhan Rathore.Trinamool’s Mahua Moitra said “what is happening in Manipur is a hate crime against a particular community, where it is understood that police personnel of one community, possibly the same community as the chief minister, handed over the women of one community to be raped and pillaged by a mob and every attempt to prevent those women from seeking justice”.

BJP’s Locket Chatterjee said, “how can people who committed atrocities against women after the West Bengal panchayat polls talk about democracy?”

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