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BJP, Congress spar over ‘infiltrators’

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Sonia’s foreign origin flagged again as Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury terms Modi, Shah ‘ghuspetiya’

BJP members in Lok Sabha including Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Monday raised the issue of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin after the party’s floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury refused to apologise for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah ghuspetiya (infiltrators).

Terming Mr. Chowdhury’s remark an insult, Mr. Joshi and his deputy Arjun Ram Meghwal demanded an apology. When Mr. Chowdhury demanded that the treasury benches should first hear him out and the context in which the infiltrator comment was made and refused an unconditional apology, Mr Joshi referred to Ms Gandhi’s Italian origin .

The fracas started during Question Hour, when Mr. Chowdhury rose to ask a supplementary related to the Steel Ministry. BJP members tried to mock him by shouting the word ‘infiltrator’ several times.

“Yes, I am an infiltrator, I am a deemak (termite). Modi is an infiltrator. Amit Shah is an infiltrator. L K Advani is an infiltrator,” the Congress leader responded.

Union Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan shot back by saying, “Sab khulengi, aap ki paribhasha se desh nahi chalega. (Everything will be exposed. The country will not run by your definitions).”

On Sunday, speaking to news agency ANI, Mr Chowdhury had termed the Prime Minister and the Home Ministers “infiltrators” in Delhi as they had come from Gujarat and were now living in Delhi.

While BJP MPs didn’t disturb the proceedings after Mr Chowdhury’s exchange with Mr. Pradhan, they raised the issue again just before the House broke for lunch lower after the discussion on the rape and murder of the Hyderabad veterinarian.

The Congress leader then sought to explain that his remarks were in the context of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and how his family too had come from what is now Bangladesh or BJP patriarch’s family L.K. Advani had come from Pakistan.

Insisting on an apology, BJP chief whip Sanjay Jaiswal raised the foreign origin issue of the Congress chief.

And in what seemed like a tit-for-tat comment, BJP MP from Jharkhand, Nishikant Dubey, urged the government to launch a probe into Mr. Chowdhury’s citizenship.

Amid a din in the House, Lok Speaker Om Birla adjourned the proceedings for an hour to break for lunch.

When the Lok Sabha reconvened, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister once again raised the Italian origin of Ms. Gandhi when Mr. Chowdhury didn’t relent to the demands from the treasury benches. Finally, the Minister asked the Chair to take up a scheduled bill on taxation when an apology was not forthcoming.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 6:21:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjp-congress-spar-over-infiltrators/article30141701.ece

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