NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha witnessed unruly scenes on Friday with Congress and BJP members nearly coming to blows when health minister Harsh Vardhan read out astatement condemning Rahul Gandhi’s “danda” remarks against PM Modi.
Congress members rushed to the well of the House the moment Vardhan started reading out a statement criticising Rahul instead of responding to his question relating to the establishment of a medical college in his constituency Wayanad during question hour.
Congress MP from Tamil Nadu B Manickam Tagore reached the treasury benches and attempted to approach Vardhan, who was reading out from a piece of paper. Tagore was countered by BJP’s Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who held his arm.
Amid interruptions, he said, “I am surprised that Rahul Gandhi’s own father was Prime Minister of India and I do not think that in the worst of cases, our party leaders made such outlandish personal remarks against him.”
Several MPs from both sides and ministers as well, including Smriti Irani, prevented them from coming to blows. Though rattled by the commotion, Vardhan continued reading his statement. While criticising Modi over unemployment during an election rally in the capital on Wednesday, Rahul had said, “The PM won’t be able to come out of his home. The youth of India will beat him up with a danda (stick) and make him understand that the country can’t progress without providing jobs to youth.”
The ruckus saw two ad journments before proceedings were called off for the day. When the House first adjourned till 1pm, Vardhan and other BJP members were heard demanding an apology from Rahul for his remark.
“When I condemned Rahul Gandhi for his remarks against the Prime Minister, Congress MPs came to my seat, tried to attack me and snatched papers from me,” Vardhan told reporters outside Parliament. Tagore, however, alleged that BJP members had manhandled him.
He wrote to Speaker Om Birla, requesting him to check the CCTV footage and take action against those who manhandled him. Reacting to the episode, Rahul tweeted: “The youth of India can clearly see that the PM has no clue about how to tackle the unemployment crisis. To protect him, BJP will keep disrupting Parliament, preventing debate,” he said.


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