Taking a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s over his “unfortunately I am MP” remark, Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday said that sometimes truth comes out and it is really “unfortunate” that he is an MP.
The BJP leader’s remark came a day after a clip of the press conference went viral where Mr Gandhi was seen being corrected by senior party leader Jairam Ramesh for his, “Unfortunately I am a member of Parliament” remark.
Talking to ANI, Mr Thakur said, “Sometimes, the truth comes out naturally, and as Rahul rightly said, unfortunately, he is a member of the Parliament, because of the way he uses foreign soil to defame and spread lies about the same prestigious institution, the Parliament of India, of which unfortunately he is a member.”
Attacking the former Congress President, Mr Thakur said, “Today ‘RAHUL’ stands for ‘Regretful Awful Hateful Ungrateful Liar’.”
The Union Minister said that Mr Gandhi should come and issue an unconditional apology.
“But he is still putting conditions to that. Is he above the rule of the land? Is he above the rules and procedures of the House? Does the Gandhi family still feel that they are above the country and the Parliament?” Mr Thakur said.
Taking his attack further, the BJP leader said that Mr Gandhi’s attendance is below the average attendance of the Parliament.
“He (Rahul Gandhi) has to understand that the Parliament is run as per the rules and procedure of the house and as per the direction given by the honourable speaker. But that only happens if he comes to the house and reads the rules and procedures of the house. I believe he will understand that and come and apologise to the House and the Parliament,” Mr Thakur further added.
Notably, a clip of the press conference went viral on Thursday, where Mr Gandhi can be heard saying, “Unfortunately I am a member of Parliament.”
The remark prompted Ramesh to mutter in Rahul’s ear, asking him to say, “Unfortunately, I am a member of Parliament, they can make a joke out of it.”
“Unfortunately for you, I am a Member of Parliament and as the allegation has been made in Parliament by four ministers, it is my right to have the opportunity to have my say on the floor of Parliament. It is my democratic right,” Mr Gandhi said, correcting himself.
BJP took a dig at the Congress leader, and Union Minister Piyush Goyal shared the 25-second clip from Rahul’s press conference on his Twitter handle, posting “Unfortunately, we are at a loss for words….”
In a response to the backlash Rahul received over the viral clip of him being coached by Ramesh, the latter said it was another attempt by the BJP to distract public attention from the ‘Modani’ scam.
“The RW system is having a field day with my pointing out to @RahulGandhi that his statement’s construct would be distorted by BJP’s fake news machine. He clarified instantly. We speak freely to the media without teleprompters. This is another attempt to distract from the Modani scam,” Mr Ramesh tweeted.
BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala tweeted, “Well Jairam it is unfortunate for us that he is an MP in the August Parliament he so badly undermines & betrays..Sad that he can’t even make a statement without being coached! Wonder who coached him for his foreign intervention statement?”
Mr Gandhi earlier said he hoped to speak in Parliament in detail.
“So, if Indian democracy was functioning, I would be able to say my piece in Parliament. So, actually what you are seeing, is a test of Indian democracy. After four leaders of the BJP have made an allegation about a Member of Parliament, is that Member of Parliament going to be given the same space that those four Ministers have been given or is he going to be told to shut up? That’s what the real question in front of this country is right now,” Mr Gandhi said.
Meanwhile, the second part of the budget session of the parliament has faced repeated disruptions with both BJP and opposition parties sticking to their stands.
The BJP has been demanding an apology from Mr Gandhi over his remarks in the UK while the Opposition members have been pressing for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the report by US short-seller Hindenburg Research against the Adani Group.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)