Amid a political storm over Rahul Gandhi’s “democracy under attack” remarks made in the UK, Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said criticising the government whether at home or abroad is a citizen’s right and does not amount to criticising India or being unpatriotic.
Mr Gandhi’s remarks during his recent trip to the United Kingdom have rocked Parliament, with both Houses failing to transact any significant business on the first three days of the budget session’s second half.
In a tweet, former Union minister Sibal said, “House Logjam, Why? Government is not synonymous with India, India is not synonymous with the Government. Criticising the Government whether at home or abroad is a citizen’s right. That does not amount to criticising India or being unpatriotic.” “Modi ji did it often in the past,” added Mr Sibal, the eminent lawyer who on Saturday had laid down the agenda and a new vision for the country with his newly-launched platform ‘Insaaf’ that is aimed at fighting injustice.
Mr Sibal, who had been a Union minister during the UPA I and II, had quit the Congress in May last year and was elected to Rajya Sabha as an independent with the support of the Samajwadi Party.
During his interactions in the UK, Mr Gandhi alleged that the structures of Indian democracy are under attack and there is a “full-scale assault” on the country’s institutions.
The former Congress president also told British parliamentarians in London that microphones are often “turned off” in Lok Sabha when an opposition member raises important issues.
Mr Gandhi’s remarks triggered a political slugfest, with the BJP accusing him of maligning India on foreign soil and seeking foreign interventions, and the Congress hitting back at the ruling party by citing instances of Prime Minister Modi raising internal politics abroad.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)