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Rahul Gandhi bats for Tamil Nadu members in Lok Sabha

Rahul Gandhi | File photo.

Rahul Gandhi | File photo.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Speaker's decision to not allow members from Tamil Nadu ask supplementaries was “unacceptable”, he says.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla's decision to not allow members from Tamil Nadu ask supplementaries was “unacceptable” and an “insult to the people of the State”.

Parliament proceedings as it happened on March 17, 2020

“The people of Tamil Nadu have every single right to defend their language, to believe in their language and to speak in their language and what is being done is absolutely unacceptable,” he told reporters as he walked out in protest.

Earlier, the House witnessed ruckus and members from the DMK, the Congress and the NCP staged a walk out on being denied an opportunity to ask supplementary questions during the Question Hour.

It started with BJP's Arvind Kumar Sharma saying Hindi should be made the official language of India. Opposition members were on their feet when Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai was replying to a question related to official language.

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Mr. Gandhi intervened, saying it was an issue at the heart of the people of Tamil Nadu and supplementaries should be allowed. As the Speaker took up the next question during the Question Hour, DMK leader T.R. Baalu vociferously protested that they should be allowed to ask supplementary questions.

When the Speaker continued with the next question, members from various Opposition parties, including the DMK, the Congress and the NCP walked out of the House. Trinamool Congress members, however, did not join the walkout.

Addressing the media outside, Mr Gandhi once again referred to Monday's Question Hour when he claimed that he was not allowed a second supplementary to his starred question on 50 wilful defaulters.

“I am a Member of Parliament, I have certain rights and he can’t take away my rights. But today, our Tamil MPs wanted to ask a supplementary about the Tamil language... This is an absolute insult to the people of Tamil Nadu,” he said.

In a tweet, Mr. Gandhi called it a departure from established parliamentary practice.

“The people of Tamil Nadu were disrespected in Parliament today when the Speaker refused to allow a supplementary question on the #Tamil language. I strongly protest this injustice done to the Tamil people & the disregard for established practises & traditions of Parliament,” he said.

During the Zero Hour, leader of the single largest Opposition party, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, spoke about the hike in the Excise duty on petrol and diesel. He alleged that the government had cheated the common man.

Dayanidhi Maran of the DMK made a similar allegation, saying a “serious loot” was taking place.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 5:51:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rahul-gandhi-bats-for-tamil-nadu-members-in-lok-sabha/article31091006.ece

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