Smriti Irani Rahul Gandhi

Smriti Shreds Rahul Over Mimicry Row

Smriti Irani Rahul Gandhi

Unleashing a no-holds-barred attack on Rahul Gandhi, who was pictured filming the crude impression of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar by suspended TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee on the Parliament premises, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday said the Congress MP hit a new low by “wilfully standing there and encouraging disrespect towards Rajya Sabha chairman”.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, the Lok Sabha MP from Amethi said the Vice President had laid down the salient procedures that cannot be violated by a responsible Parliamentarian, and, yet, the Opposition members wilfully violated them.

“When the Vice president and Chairman of Rajya Sabha have announced that these are the procedures that cannot be violated as a parliamentarian, after knowing those, you go and violate them that means you have been mindful of the rules that you are breaking. This is not a classroom, this is the Parliament of India. What shocks me was not the juvenile reaction of the former Congress president (Rahul Gandhi). I could never imagine that on the steps of the Parliament, you could mock the Vice President of India. Rahul Gandhi filmed it and encouraged it. So I think it (the bulk suspension of Opposition members) marks the end of the juvenile politics by Mr. Gandhi. To wilfully stand there and encourage disrespect towards (the) Vice President, that’s a new low that he has hit,” the Union Minister said.

She further asserted that even she had ‘issues’ when in the Opposition but never mocked the Speaker or used words that brought disrespect to the Chair because “it not an individual but an institution”.

“There is a historical context to every activity that is undertaken in Parliament. There is a President that you set not only from a domestic perspective but also an international parliamentary perspective of how business in a house is conducted, where a part of many international unions, associations, and, organisations study the functionality of our Parliament. Can you have the Vice President of India or the Speaker of the House announce a set of rules and regulations and procedures in terms of parliamentary engagement and willfully break those rules and then expect no consequence for it?” she added.

She said the brazen impression of the Rajya Sabha Chairman and his mannerisms, including his physical limitations, was a “message to your (Rahul’s) political audience”.

“There is a generation of political activists that want to emulate you. When you caricature the VP of India, you are sending a message to your political audience. What was Kalyan Banerjee doing knowing that Rahul Gandhi was filming it? He was working towards enduring himself to the audience called the Gandhi family,” Irani said.

“(Congress MP KC) Venugopal was sanding and laughing. They paid no heed (to the Chair) when they were in the House. Can you then deny that constitutional post the right to deliver justice? They stood on the table and threw a book on the chair. Do you remember the deputy chairperson? They were slamming books and chucking papers at the chair,” she added.

On the row over Rahul’s ‘flying kiss’ this year in the Lok Sabha, Irani said “it has nothing to do with me, but whatever he did was a reflection of his upbringing”.

“He gave it (flying kiss) in the House, my position was never that it was intended towards me. It was that the House was expected of a particular conduct. Whatever he did was a reflection of his upbringing and his sense of how much he values Parliament. It has nothing to do with me,” she said.

“The person (former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar) who allegedly chanted Anti-India slogans in a university, Rahul Gandhi has indulged him in his political party. We cannot deviate from the reality. The issue is
kya Bharat toota hai jo aap jod rahe ho
? (Is India broken that you are fixing it?)” she added. (ANI)

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