Was Indian Democracy Functioning?

Shri Rahul Gandhi, MP and former Congress President addressed the media at AICC Headquarters on March 16, 2023.

Shri Rahul Gandhi said- I went to Parliament this morning with the idea of putting what I have said, what I feel on the floor of the house. Four Ministers have raised allegations against me in the Parliament House. It is my right to be allowed to speak on the floor of the house. I requested to the speaker today. I went to his chamber and I requested him. I said- look, I would very much like to speak. I told him that people from the BJP have made allegations against me and as a Member of Parliament, it is my right to speak.

He was non-committal. In his way, he smiled, but, I am hopeful that I will be allowed to speak tomorrow. What is going on here -this story started the day I gave my speech in Parliament about Shri Adani. I asked some fundamental questions to the Prime Minister about his relationship with the businessman, about how Shri Adani has been given pretty much the entire India-Israel defence relationship?

How he is being given the Bombay Airport, other Airports, how rules have been changed to allow him to be given these things. What happened in Australia between the Prime Minister, Shri Adani and the Chairman of the State Bank and one of the Chief Ministers of one of the states in Australia. It is a picture that is visible to everybody, why is the Prime Minister of India sitting with the State Bank Chairman, Shri Adani, and an Australian leader? What is he discussing and why, after that discussion is almost a billion dollars pledge by the State Bank to Shri Adani? What was said in Sri Lanka? Why a person made a statement saying- Shri Rajapaksa told him that Shri Adani was given the contract and it was basically Shri Modi who told him, the same in Bangladesh.

So, these are relevant questions and the whole idea is that these questions must not be under table and that is why, this whole exercise or four or five Ministers, the Prime Minister is giving a speech to distract from this fundamental question which is, what is the relationship between the Prime Minister of India and Shri Adani and his companies and more importantly, whose money is in the shell companies? Who is this unknown person, whose money is in the shell companies? What is his relationship with Shri Adani? These are the questions.

I would like to go into the details with you. I am a Member of Parliament and I am hopeful that I will be allowed to speak in Parliament. So, I would like to first place my statement on the floor of the house and after that I will be happy to have whatever discussion you want with me.

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. It is my democratic right. 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. Thursday, March 16, 2023

I am not scared of them: Shri Rahul Gandhi

Shri Rahul Gandhi alongwith Shri Ashok Gehlot, CM, Rajasthan; Shri Bhupesh Baghel, CM, Chhattisgarh; Shri K.C. Venugopal, General Secretary (Organization); Shri Jairam Ramesh, MP, General Secretary (Communications), AICC and Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, MP was on the dais.

Shri Rahul Gandhi said- The question begins a few weeks back in Parliament, where I asked the Prime Minister a very specific set of questions.

Question number one, Rs. 20,000 crores or 3 billion dollars are in shell companies owned by Shri Adani. Shri Adani could not have generated this money. He is in the infrastructure business, where did this money come from? Whose money is it? That was the first question. Whose shell companies are these? These companies are working in the defence field. Why does nobody know? Whose money is this? There is a Chinese national involved in this. Why is nobody asking the question, who is this Chinese national? That was the first question?

Second question was, set of questions with proof, what is the Prime Minister’s relationship with Shri Adani? I showed the picture of the Prime Minister in Shri Adani’s plane, relaxing. I gave documentation about the defence industry, about the airports, about statements made in Sri Lanka, about statements made in Bangladesh, pictures of Shri Narendra Modi sitting with the State Bank (of India) Chairman in Australia and I put this proof on the table.

Immediately after that, the BJP started its work. My speech was expunged. I wrote a letter to the speaker with a detailed explanation on the defence industry, on the airports, with press clippings, supportive documents, and legal documents and said- this is the supporting foundation of my speech. I have not invented this, this is detailed research here it is, nothing happened, nothing was revoked. My speech today is not part of the record of Parliament. The same, by the way, was done with Shri Mallikarjun Kharge.

After that BJP Ministers lied about me in Parliament. They made the statement to distract from the Adani issue. The whole game, disqualification and all the statements are to distract from the central question, whose money is it? Rs. 20,000 crores, whose money is it? That is the main question. All talking is to distract.

So, they said that I have asked foreign forces to help India. Most ridiculous statement, I have never made such a statement. You can look at all the conversations I had in the United Kingdom, not one such statement was made. In fact, I said- this is India’s problem, India has to resolve this problem.

A Minister lies on the floor of the house. I wrote to the Speaker and I said- Speaker sir, when somebody makes any accusation, it is my right as a Member of Parliament to state my position. Please, let me state my position. The first letter is not answered. I then write a second letter with more details saying the names and what was said, still no answer. I then go to the Speaker’s chamber and I say, Speaker sir, what is going on? We live in a democracy. You are the defender of that democracy. Why are you not letting me make my statement? The Speaker smiles and says, I cannot do that, come and have a cup of tea with me.

So, this is the whole drama that has been orchestrated to defend the Prime Minister from the simple question, whose Rs. 20,000 crores are these? Whose 3 billion dollars went to Shri Adani’s shell companies?

Look, I am here defending the democratic voice of the Indian people. I will continue to do that. I am not scared of these threats, of these disqualifications, of these allegations, of these prison sentences. I don’t care. I am not scared of them, okay! These people don’t understand me yet! I am not scared of them. They are used to everybody gabbing, scared of them. I am not scared of them. I will continue to ask the question, what is the Prime Minister’s relationship with Shri Adani? It is an old relationship. It is a relationship that began, when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat. Shri Adani constructed the idea of ‘Resurgent Gujarat’ and organised all that. This is a partnership, it is a close partnership and I am going to keep asking that question. Saturday, March 25, 2023