Lok Sabha disrupted over Rahul Gandhi’s ‘night-out’ in Orissa

March 13th, 2008 - 3:56 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s reported ’sneaking out’ of his guest house in Orissa during his visit to the state last week created unruly scenes in the Lok Sabha Thursday. Congress MPs reacted sharply when Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Brij Kishore Tripathi raised the issue of, what he termed, concern about the security of Rahul Gandhi. Raising the issue in the house during zero hour, Tripathi alleged that Gandhi had left the National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco) guesthouse where he was staying on the night of March 7 without informing the police.

Tripathi said Gandhi left the guesthouse at 8:15 p.m. and came back at 12:05 a.m. in a sensitive area infested by Maoists. The BJD leader argued that state police should have been informed as the Congress MP was a “VIP enjoying Z plus category security”.

However, Tripathi’s remarks did not go down well with the Congress and Left MPs who pointed out that the MP had certain rights as a citizen.

The matter took a disturbing tone when Tripathi kept on harping on Gandhi’s “night-out”. Congress MPs shouted at Tripathi saying that Gandhi’s tour in the BJD-ruled state had scared them.

“You are suffering from Rahul phobia,” shouted Adhir Chaudhary, Congress MP from West Bengal.

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee also pointed out that Gandhi has every right as a citizen and as an MP to move about as he chooses. BJD leaders who were backed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs continued to insist that the home minister respond to this.

After almost half an hour of disruptions, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi informed the house that he would refer the matter to the home minister.

Dasmunsi said: “I am deeply touched by the concern. I congratulate the BJD and their chief minister for their tremendous concern for the young leader. Please continue your concern for him.”

Rahul Gandhi was not present in the house when the matter was raised but his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi watched the proceedings from the front row.

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