Rahul Gandhi’s speech on minorities, NEET, Agnipath expunged from Lok Sabha records

| Updated: 02 July, 2024 1:42 pm IST
Rahul Gandhi speech on minority in Lok Sabha expunged.

NEW DELHI: Several portions of Rahul Gandhi’s maiden speech as Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha were expunged from the Parliament’s records on Monday. Gandhi’s speech, which targeted the central government on a variety of issues, including the treatment of minorities, the NEET exam, and the Agnipath scheme, faced backlash from the Treasury benches and led to multiple interjections from senior ministers.

During the debate on the Motion of Thanks on President Draupadi Murmu’s address, Gandhi accused the BJP and the RSS of spreading violence and hatred. He criticised the BJP for treating minorities unfairly and claimed that industrialists Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani were receiving undue favours from the government. Additionally, he argued that the NEET exam favoured wealthy students over meritorious ones and described the Agniveer Scheme as a creation of the Prime Minister’s Office rather than the Indian Army.

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These remarks sparked significant protests from the BJP, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, and other cabinet members standing to express their objections. While PM Modi was also seen intervening twice and at least five cabinet ministers interjected during Gandhi’s hour and 40-minute-long speech.

The expunged remarks included Gandhi’s criticisms of the BJP’s treatment of minorities, his comments on Adani and Ambani, his assertion that NEET is biased against meritorious students from less wealthy backgrounds, and his statement regarding the origins of the Agniveer Scheme. According to media reports, some of Gandhi’s statements about the Agniveer Scheme were factually incorrect and could potentially mislead the public, which was cited as the reason for their removal from the record.

The decision to expunge these remarks has raised questions about the impartiality of the proceedings, with critics wondering why only the Opposition leader’s words were removed. PM Modi is expected to respond to Gandhi’s criticism while addressing these issues on Tuesday.

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