"You bowed to PM Modi": Rahul Gandhi on Speaker's gesture; Om Birla says his "Sanskar" tells him to bow down

    The Hawk
    July1/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    In the Motion of Thanks debate, Gandhi emphasized the Speaker's role in defining Indian Democracy, while Birla defended his actions as a sign of cultural respect.

    Om Birla and Rahul Gandhi

    New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had a verbal exchange inside the House on Monday when the latter questioned him as to why he bowed down to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he shook hands with the PM on the day he was elected as Speaker of Lok Sabha on June 26.
    Participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President for her address to a joint sitting of Parliament, Rahul Gandhi said that whatever the Speaker says fundamentally defines Indian Democracy.

    Also Read:'s-remarks-in-lok-sabha 

    "There are two structures; one is he (Rahul Gandhi) as an individual and one is the Leader of the Opposition. As individuals, I might have likes and dislikes but I as Leader of Opposition have to suppress them, reduce them and say my the voice of opposition. That is the idea of the democratic system. The people have given me responsibility and that responsibility should overcome my personal likes, dislikes and aspirations. Now Speaker sir why I am saying this and forgive me for saying this but when you were being put on that chair I walked there to help you to walk to the chair and I shook hands with the Prime Minister and you (Om Birla) and them I walked to your chair. You are the final arbiter of the Lok Sabha. You are the final word here. What you say fundamentally defines Indian Democracy. You don't allow us to speak, you allow us to speak, you allow them to speak, you don't allow us to speak, all these things define Indian Democracy," Rahul said.
    He further told Lok Sabha Speaker that two people were sitting on the chair.
    "There is the Speaker of Lok Sabha and there is Mr Om Birla, when Modi ji went and shook your hand and I went to shook your hand, I noticed something, when I shook your hand, you stand straight and shake hand with me and when Modiji shook the hands you bowed down and shook his hands," the Congress leader claimed.
    This remark prompted an immediate response from Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who accused Rahul Gandhi of disrespecting the chair.
    "Yeh chair ke samane aroop hai," the Home Minister said.
    Speaker Om Birla responded to Rahul Gandhi's remarks, saying his "Sanskriti, sanskar" tell him that he should bow to elders and treat those younger to him inappropriate way.
    "Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the Leader of the House. Mera sanskar kehta hai ki jo hamse bade hain unse jhuk ke namaskar karo and barabar walo se seedhe khade hoke (My culture teaches me to bow down in front of elders and shake hands with equals by standing straight)," Birla said, referring to a cultural norm of showing respect to elders.

    Also Read: 

    The Congress leader reiterated his respect for the Speaker's words but maintained his stance on the importance of the Speaker's role.
    "I respect your words, but in this House, no one is bigger than the Speaker," LoP said.
    Rahul Gandhi said that he, along with the entire Opposition, bowed down to the Speaker.
    "You are the Speaker and you should not bow down before anyone", Rahul Gandhi asserted.
    The Congress MP said that the Speaker is the last word in the Lok Sabha and in that spirit, as members of the House, we are subservient to him.
    Rahul Gandhi also said that he is the Leader of the Opposition and he represents every single party adding that he treats every single party with love and affection.
    "When I became LoP, I realized something I did not realise before and also it is on lines and principles of Lord Shiva. The idea was that after becoming the LoP all my personal dreams, my personal aspiration, and fears have to be put aside. Now actually there are two people. I am not one person. I am a constitutional person and my job is to leader of the Opposition and to represent all these parties. In fact I just do not represent the Congress party. I represent every single party and I have to treat every single party with love and affection. So when Hemant Soren is in jail or Arvind Kejriwal is in jail it should disturb me it should hurt me. When you unleash your agencies on the political people it is our job to defend them because there is a constitutional person and an individual," Rahul Gandhi said.
    Rahul Gandhi, who made his first speech as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, also attacked the government over the Agniveer scheme and NEET paper leak issue.