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Portions of Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha Speech Expunged, Sparks Controversy

Several segments of Leader of Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi’s speech delivered on Monday have been removed from the Lok Sabha’s official records.

These sections included remarks about Hindus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

This was Rahul Gandhi’s inaugural speech as the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha. At the beginning of his address, the Congress MP showcased a copy of the Constitution and a photo of Lord Shiva while critiquing the ruling BJP and RSS.

Controversial Remarks

Rahul Gandhi’s comments equating the BJP with violent Hindus incited strong objections from BJP MPs and prompted an intervention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Modi interrupted, stating, “Accusing the entire Hindu community of violence is a very serious allegation.” The Congress clarified that Gandhi was referring specifically to the BJP and not the entire Hindu community.

Calls for Apology

Home Minister Amit Shah demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi for linking the BJP with violence. Shah objected to Gandhi’s comparison of ‘violent Hindus’ with the BJP, insisting on an apology from the Congress leader.

Congress and Allies’ Reactions

Responding to the expunging of Rahul Gandhi’s remarks, Congress leader Manickam Tagore criticized Prime Minister Modi, stating, “When the Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhiji speaks the truth about RSS, Adani, Ambani, and Agniveer, Modi doesn’t like it. The truth about these issues has been expunged. Modi and Shah can’t tolerate the truth. Since when did RSS, Adani, Ambani, and Agniveer become unparliamentary?”

Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction) leader Sanjay Raut defended Rahul Gandhi, asserting that the Leader of Opposition did not speak against the Hindu community. “Rahul Gandhi has not said anything wrong about Hindus… He said that Modiji is not Hindutva and BJP is not the entire Hindu community.” He added, “Even in Maharashtra, their [BJP’s] narrative is that Shiv Sena broke alliance with Hindutva when we severed our relation with the BJP. BJP is not Hindutva. Hindutva’s definition is much broader than the BJP.”

Raut further stated, “Rahul Gandhi only said that we do not accept the fake Hindutva of the BJP.”

(With inputs from agency)

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