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Congress Gives Privilege Notice against Modi

Congress Gives Privilege Notice against Modi

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NEW DELHI, July 9: The Congress’s Rajya Sabha Chief Whip Jairam Ramesh submitted a breach of privilege notice against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making “derogatory” remarks against the former Vice-President and chairman of the Upper House Hamid Ansari during a speech in the Lok Sabha last week.

Mr Modi, during an address on July 3 during Motion of Thanks to the President’s address, without naming Mr Ansari had said, “No matter how many numbers they claim, when we came in 2014, our strength in the Rajya Sabha was very low, and the Chair’s inclination was somewhat on the other side. But we did not waver from our resolve to serve the country with pride.”

He had gone on to say, “I want to tell the people of the country that the decision you have made, the order you have given us to serve, neither Modi nor this government will be afraid of any such obstacles. We will fulfil the resolutions we have set out to achieve.”

While Mr Modi did not name anyone, former Vice-President Ansari had been the Chairman from August 2012 to August 2017.

Mr Ramesh, in his letter to Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar, said that even if Prime Minister did not specifically take Mr Ansari’s name, “these derogatory remarks were attributed to Mr Ansari.” The accusation attributed to him of “leaning” towards the Opposition made by the Prime Minister “is wholly unacceptable and grossly derogatory to say the least, apart from being completely false,” Mr Ramesh said.

Mr Ramesh said no Prime Minister had ever attacked a former Speaker of the Lok Sabha or Chairman of the Rajya Sabha in this manner in the past. “The Prime Minister has broken all parliamentary norms, decorum and, as a matter of fact, set a new low to the dignity of the very office of the Prime Minister of India,” Mr Ramesh noted.

He also underlined that attributing “derogatory motives” to a former Chairman of the Rajya Sabha when he was not present to defend himself tantamount to “grace disregard and disrespect” to the high office of the Chairman, Rajya Sabha and also to the Upper House.

In a post on X, Mr Ramesh, who is also the Congress general secretary, said, “One thing that the non-biological PM said in the Lok Sabha on July 2nd has escaped much media notice. What he said was simply awful and unacceptable, and ought to have been immediately expunged.” Mr Modi accused Mr Ansari of “leaning” towards the Opposition, he claimed.

Mr Ramesh said, “This is not the first time Mr Modi has targeted Mr Ansari. In his farewell speech on Mr Ansari’s retirement 7 years ago, he alluded to Mr Ansari’s top diplomatic postings which happened to be in Islamic countries.” “That these countries were of vital interest to India, and that Mr Ansari retired from the IFS (Indian Foreign Service) after having served as High Commissioner to Australia and as India’s Permanent Representative at the UN in New York as well, was mischievously overlooked,” he said.

No Prime Minister has ever attacked a former Speaker (Lok Sabha) or Chairman of the Rajya Sabha in the manner that Modi has, Mr Ramesh alleged. “He [Modi] has broken all parliamentary norms in doing so — not that he has respected them at all. He has further diminished whatever is left of the dignity of the office he holds after his despicable election campaign,” the Congress leader said,

(Manas Dasgupta)



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