Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday tore into Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his party, the BJP and his confidante, Amit Shah. He caused a spectacular embarrassment for Modi as he walked up to Modi’s seat and stunned him with a surprise hug.
Accusing Modi of indulging in jumla (fake promises) strike, Rahul said, “The prime minister and Mr Amit Shah are two very different types of politicians. They are not like any of us. The difference between all of us and the prime minister and the president of the BJP is whereas we are okay to lose power, we can see ourselves in being power and out of power, for reasons that everybody knows here, the prime minister and the president of the BJP can simply not afford to lose power. Because the moment they lose power, other processes will start against them. So the prime minister and his president act out of fear and this fear generates anger.”
But, the BJP MPs continued to heckle him, in a bid to disrupt him from carrying on with his speech. Unsurprisingly, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, made no notable efforts to ensure an uninterrupted speech by the Congress president.
Later, the Lok Sabha Speaker took objection to Rahul hugging Modi and called it a natak (drama) adding that by hugging the prime minister the Congress president had breached the House’s established decorum.
As expected, Mahajan’s glaring biased role earned her plenty of condemnation from commentators, intellectuals and journalists on social media as some wondered if she was the worst Lok Sabha Speaker India has ever had.
Janta Ka Reporter‘s founder, Rifat Jawaid, tweeted, “Sumitra Mahajan was so brazenly biased today. Did literally nothing to stop heckling when Rahul spoke. Was at pain to see Rahul blame RSS for hate politics. Can’t think of anyone else worse than her in Speaker’s chair. Incredibly sad moment for Indian democracy.”
Sumitra Mahajan was so brazenly biased today. Did literally nothing to stop heckling when Rahul spoke. Was at pain to see Rahul blame RSS for hate politics. Can’t think of anyone else worse than her in Speaker’s chair. Incredibly sad moment for Indian democracy.
— Rifat Jawaid (@RifatJawaid) July 20, 2018
Journalist Swati Chaturvedi tweeted, “Sumitra Mahajan is still batting for the Bjp as the Speaker of the House. Her little sermon on the hug is not the first she has intervened for the BJP. Madam speaker check the rule book nothing unparliamentary about a hug!” Journalist Saba Naqvi concurred, “Honestly, even by the dipping standards of partisanship displayed by constitutional offices, speaker sumitra Mahajan is a shocker…”
Academician and columnist Ashok Swain wrote, “Sumitra Mahajan is a true Sanghi in a Saree! On the Chair, she was worse than the BJP backbenchers.”
Midway through Rahul’s speech, Mahajan had adjourned the House. Many felt that it was an inappropriate decision given that he was in the midst of launching a fierce attack against the BJP while embarrassing the prime minister and his party on the Rafale scam and surprise jump in the wealth of BJP President Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah.