When Will Rahul Gandhi Speak? Big Question As No-Trust Debate Enters Day 2

Why Rahul Gandhi Did Not Start Lok Sabha Debate On No-Trust Vote

Rahul Gandhi is back as an MP after a Supreme Court ruling

New Delhi:

As Lok Sabha members gear up for Day 2 of the debate on the no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government, all eyes will be on Rahul Gandhi, who is set to address the House today. 

Clearing the air on when Mr Gandhi will speak, Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “Rahul Gandhi will speak today. He will begin from our side at noon.”

Earlier, reports had claimed that the senior Congress leader would start the debate on the no-confidence motion backed by the Opposition bloc INDIA. The motion was moved by Gaurav Gogoi, Kaliabor MP and deputy leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, but the reports said he would step aside to let Mr Gandhi initiate the discussion.

But, when the House met yesterday, it was Mr Gogoi who started the debate. The treasury benches did not lose the opportunity to take a swipe, with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi saying, “We have come to hear him (Mr Gandhi) speak.”

Mr Gogoi responded that whatever is discussed in the Speaker’s chamber stays there. He questioned if the BJP would like if he cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks in the chamber. To this, the ruling party MPs, led by Home Minister Amit Shah, dared him to speak out. The chaos continued before Mr Gogoi eventually started the debate.

According to Congress sources, the party decided to let Mr Gogoi begin the debate primarily due to two reasons.

Firstly, Mr Gogoi is an MP from the Northeast region and his beginning the debate on the no-trust motion on the Manipur issue holds a symbolic significance. Also, replacing him with Mr Gandhi as soon as he is back as an MP would only expose the party to attacks from the BJP, which never loses a chance to play the dynasty card.

The second reason of not fielding Mr Gandhi on Day 1 of the debate was the absence of Prime Minister Modi in the House. The Prime Minister is likely to speak in Lok Sabha tomorrow. 

The Congress and INDIA are well aware that they do not stand a chance in this no-confidence motion as far as numbers are concerned. The move is primarily to force the Prime Minister to address the House on Manipur and target the BJP on the situation in the northeastern state. The party, therefore, does not want to provide any opportunity to the BJP to turn the situation to its advantage.

Ahead of Mr Chowdhury’s confirmation, there was confusion regarding Mr Gandhi’s Lok Sabha address. While some sources in the Congress had been saying he may speak today, reports said he is scheduled to attend a rally in Rajasthan’s Banswara.

Mr Gandhi is back as an MP after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction in a criminal defamation case over the ‘Modi surname’ remark. 

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