Rahul Gandhi Criticizes Expunging of Lok Sabha Speech: Accuses PM’s World of Censorship

On Monday, Rahul Gandhi fiercely criticized the BJP during a parliamentary debate, accusing the ruling party of communal divisiveness. This led to several of his statements being expunged from the record amidst significant backlash from the BJP. During the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address to a joint sitting of Parliament, Gandhi launched a scathing attack on the BJP. He accused the party of dividing people along communal lines, stating, “The BJP is treating minorities unfairly.” He also criticized the Agniveer Scheme, claiming it was not devised by the Indian Army but rather by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

In his remarks, Gandhi quoted Prophet Muhammad, highlighting that the Quran advocates fearlessness. Holding up pictures of religious figures such as Lord Shiva, Guru Nanak, and Jesus Christ, he emphasized that all major religions preach courage and fearlessness. “Do not be scared, do not scare others,” he cited from the teachings of Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Jainism.

However, his speech triggered an uproar from the treasury benches, leading to the Chair striking several of his comments off the record. Among the expunged statements were his accusations against the BJP’s treatment of minorities, remarks on industrialists Adani and Ambani, and criticism of the NEET exam as favouring the wealthy over meritorious students. In response to his expunged remarks, Rahul Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament on Tuesday, “In Modi ji’s world, truth can be expunged. But in reality, the truth can’t be expunged. I said what I had to say, that is the truth. They can expunge as much as they want. Truth is truth.” He also wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, requesting the restoration of his speech.

Gandhi took to social media, reiterating his stance. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), he asserted, “A free and fair conversation is the strength of democracy.” The controversy escalated when Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervened twice during Gandhi’s speech. At least five cabinet ministers also interjected, with Home Minister Amit Shah demanding an apology from Gandhi. Modi criticized Gandhi for allegedly labelling the entire Hindu community as violent, which Gandhi denied, clarifying his intent to highlight the need for truth and courage.

It is not just one religion that talks about courage. In fact, all our religions talk about courage,” Gandhi stated, urging the ruling party to not spread fear or hatred. “Do not think of the opposition as your enemies. We are ready to discuss anything you want to. Let us work together to take the country forward,” he concluded. Adding to the parliamentary turmoil, portions of the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge’s speech, were also expunged. An official document indicated that words such as ‘annihilate,’ ‘arrogance,’ and ‘mujra’ were removed, along with statements accusing PM Modi of societal division and spreading misinformation. The heated debate underscored the growing tension between the opposition and the ruling party, highlighting significant ideological divides and the contentious nature of current Indian politics.

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