New Delhi: In a rare instance, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday joined his party members in raising slogans in Lok Sabha over the developments in Karnataka.
However, he remained seated and did not go in the Well of the House with the other protesting MPs.
Rahul arrived in Lok Sabha at noon just before the commencement of Zero Hour. At that time Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury tried to raise the Karnataka issue and accused the BJP of "poaching" its MLAs in the state.
He was, however, disallowed by Speaker Om Birla saying the matter was discussed in the House on Monday and Deputy Leader of Lok Sabha Rajnath Singh had responded to the charges.
"It is your duty to save democracy," a Congress member said.
Unsatisfied with the Speaker's response, Chowdhury again tried to raise the issue.
He scribbled a few slogans on a piece of paper and gave it to his fellow MPs sitting behind him, who promptly raised them.
The members raised slogans like "Down with dictatorship" (Tanashahi band karo), "Stop the politics of poaching" (Shikar ki rajneeti band karo) and "We want justice".
Rahul also joined them in raising slogans but remained seated in the front row of the Opposition benches. His pitch was not as high as the others and he repeated the last words of the slogans. Sonia Gandhi was also sitting next to him.
It was a rare instance when Rahul Gandhi was seen participating in sloganeering in the House.
As members entered the Well, they continued with the sloganeering.
The Speaker warned the members against bringing posters. "This is our right," said one of the members. To which the Speaker retorted, "No, it is not your right".
"The country is watching you. This is your House. By bringing placards, don't make it (Lok Sabha) the House of a civic body," Birla said.
The Congress has alleged that the BJP is trying to topple the 13-month-old Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government in Karnataka after a spate of resignations by ruling coalition MLAs.
So far 14 MLAs have tendered their resignation in Karnataka — 11 from the Congress and three from the JD(S). If accepted, the coalition government's strength in the Assembly would be reduced to 102, besides the Speaker.
With the support of two independents, who on Monday resigned from the ministry, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113.
Updated Date: Jul 09, 2019 21:34:09 IST