Congress leader Rahul Gandhi speaking at an event in Maharashtra.
Switching his microphone off and on, Congress leader sought to give a demonstration of what allegedly happens in Parliament when Opposition leaders speak on issues that the BJP government finds uncomfortable. “See what they do. Whenever we speak on the note ban (of 2016), mic off — like this,” he said, going inaudible for bit at a public event as part of his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ that’s now in Maharashtra.
Smiling, he switched the mic back on, speaking in Hindi: “Here, I have the controls. But in Parliament House the mic is switched off just like that. We keep wondering what happened.”
“China’s army has come in, occupied 2,000 square kilometres — mic off,” he alleged.
“No matter what we are saying, no one will be able to hear it, see it — mic off,” he further said in a video tweeted by the party’s social media head, Supriya Shrinate.
He said the Yatra — Kanyakumari to Kashmir — is also necessitated as a large part of the mainstream media does not cover the Congress’s initiatives.
As the crowd mentioned central agency ED’s alleged misuse against Opposition leaders, he further said, “We are not scared of this ED, shee-dee.“
The Congress has over the years alleged that since the BJP won in 2014 and PM Narendra Modi too office, Opposition’s voice is “stifled” inside and outside Parliament.
The BJP has been saying such allegations are “excuses” as the Opposition “has been rejected and has nothing to say”.
Rahul Gandhi’s comments came on the fourth day of the Maharashtra leg of his Yatra in Nanded district.
Two days ago, on the sixth anniversary of the demonetisation of high-value notes in 2016, he accused PM Modi of “unleashing an economic tsunami” with the move.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra, a mass contact initiative of the Congress that began over two months ago, will cover 3,750 km before concluding in Srinagar in early 2023.
At a meeting in Nanded on Wednesday night, Mr Gandhi said projects like the Tata-Airbus military aircraft venture and Vendanta-Foxconn semiconductor plant were “taken away from Maharashtra and given to Gujarat because of the assembly elections in that state”.
“These projects will be given to two-three industrialists who are the prime minister’s friends and the country’s wealth is accumulating in their hands. Ports, infrastructure, telecom, agriculture sectors have been given to these people,” he alleged.
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