‘Inciting people’: BJP MP gives breach of privilege notice against Rahul Gandhi

NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Nishikant Dubey on Thursday gave a breach of privilege notice against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for “inciting” people with the speech that he made in Parliament on Wednesday slamming the government for allegedly destroying the idea of India by ruling a union of states as a “kingdom”.

During the debate on the President’s speech in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Gandhi flagged the danger to India’s character as a union of states, people, cultures, and languages due to the centralised nature of the current administration. He added the Constitution described India as a Union of states but the BJP’s vision of India was to “rule with a stick”.

Dubey called Gandhi “script reader” and a “drawing-room politician” and added he has not even read the Preamble of the Constitution, which states: “We, the People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic.” He added by the usage of the word Republic in the preamble, it has been made clear that India is a nation by all means. “But it is quite unfortunate that this simple fact is not understood by a veteran Parliamentarian... Rahul Gandhi,” Dubey said in his notice.

He added Gandhi had misinterpreted the Constitution and put out “wrong and illogical facts before the country with the sole intention of inciting the people at large to enter into some sort of subversive activities against our Country.” He added this is a breach of privilege and contempt of the House and thus punishable under the rules. Dubey said Gandhi’s speech was an attempt to “hint” and “incite” other lawmakers and also the citizens.

In his speech, Gandhi said the union of states means that conversation must take place. “It is a partnership, not a kingdom.”

There was no immediate response from Gandhi or the Congress to the notice.

According to Parliamentary rules, if individuals or authorities violate or disregard any of the privileges, powers, and immunities of the House or members or committees thereof, they are liable for punishment for breach of privilege or contempt of the House.

The House has the power to determine what constitutes the breach of privilege and contempt. The penal jurisdiction of the House in this regard covers its members as well as strangers and every act of violation of privileges, whether committed in the immediate presence of the House or outside of it.

A person found guilty of breach of privilege or contempt of the House “may be punished either by imprisonment, or by admonition (warning), or reprimand”, according to chapter 16 of Rajya Sabha rulebook. Suspension and expulsion from the House are other punishments that may also be awarded to the members for contempt.

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