Rahul Gandhi questions speaker’s gesture of bowing down towards PM

| Updated: 02 July, 2024 1:34 pm IST
Rahul Gandhi debates Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla

NEW DELHI: The Monday session of Lok Sabha was highly charged with the preparatory statements of Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi was on fire, and in addition to his backlash against the government over various issues, he also delved into a debate with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

Gandhi questioned Speaker Birla’s bowing gesture towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his re-election. Addressing the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address, pointing towards Birla’s confirmation as Speaker for the second term.

Gandhi said that while Birla was re-elected, he shook hands with both the Prime Minister and him, and later walked him to the chair. He also pointed towards the different gestures of Om Birla with him and PM Modi. He said, “When I shook hands with you, you were standing straight, while with the PM, you bowed down.” He also mentioned that on the chair, two people sit: one is the Lok Sabha Speaker, and the other is Om Birla.

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This moment brought applause from the opposition and objections from the treasury benches. In response, Speaker Birla defended his actions based on personal values of respecting elders and treating equals as equals. He explained, “Indian culture and my learnings tell me to bow down in front of elders. The Prime Minister is the leader of the House, and my values tell me to bow and show respect to those elder to me in public life and personal life.”

Acknowledging Birla’s response, Gandhi reiterated his respect for the Speaker and bowed before him but emphasised, “No one is bigger than you in this House. We all must bow down before you. You must not bow down before anyone.”

The exchange between Gandhi and Birla reflected how charged the atmosphere was in the Lok Sabha on Monday. Today PM Modi is set to answer the questions raised by the opposition.

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