‘Bharat Mata’ not expunged from Rahul’s speech, he has lost mental balance: Pralhad Joshi


PTI, Aug 11, 2023, 8:51 PM IST

New Delhi: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Friday refuted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s charge that words ‘Bharat Mata’ in his speech were expunged from Lok Sabha proceedings, claiming that he lacks understanding and seems to have “lost his mental balance”.

Speaking to reporters, the minister asserted that only some unparliamentary words and not ‘Bharat Mata’ were expunged from Gandhi’s address during the no-confidence motion debate on Wednesday and accused opposition parties of creating ruckus and not letting debate on several key bills happen during the session for political reasons.

Lok Sabha’s productivity was 45 per cent and Rajya Sabha’s 63 per cent during the session, large part of which was marred by the opposition’s protest over the Manipur issue.

Joshi said 22 bills were passed by Lok Sabha and 25 by Rajya Sabha, while 23 bills were passed by both Houses. Some bills passed by one House in previous sessions got the nod of another House in this session.

Accusing the opposition of disrupting Parliament for political reasons, he said they participated in the discussion on the Delhi services bill to show their unity but created a ruckus otherwise except for a few occasions, including the debate on the no-confidence motion in the Lower House.

With Gandhi targeting the government earlier in the day, Joshi hit back.

The Congress leader said central security personnel told him in Manipur, which has been roiled by ethnic violence, that they had never seen anything like what was happening in the state.

“That is why I said ‘Bharat Mata’ has been murdered in Manipur. For the first time, the words ‘Bharat Mata’ have been expunged from Parliament. It is an insult to those words,” the former Congress chief said, referring to his speech in Lok Sabha during the debate on the no-trust motion earlier this week. Parts of his speech were expunged by Speaker Om Birla.

Countering him, Joshi said, “The term ‘Bharat Mata’ has not been expunged. What was unparliamentary has been expunged.”

Unparliamentary words are selected as per a rule book and there is nothing arbitrary about it, he claimed.

“It appears from whatever statements he (Rahul Gandhi) has made today that he has lost his mental balance,” the minister said.

In a dig at the Congress, he said it is a good sign that the opposition party has started talking of ‘Bharat Mata’ and raising the slogan of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP dispensation. Earlier, the Congress would never use the words ‘Bharat Mata’, he said.

He also rejected as “bogus” the opposition’s allegation that their members have been suspended from both the Houses on flimsy grounds for political reasons. They never wanted discussions to take place in Parliament because of the government’s “historic” performance on all counts, he claimed.

Joshi described Parliament’s Monsoon session as the “most successful” session due to the significance of the bills tabled and passed.
It is unfortunate that opposition parties did not take part in discussions for political reasons, he said.

The Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill were among the key legislations which were passed by Parliament during this session.

Accusing opposition parties of disrupting the last session as well, he urged them to let the winter session take place undisturbed. The next session will be the last full-fledged session of Parliament before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

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