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Privilege motion against PM Modi for ‘insulting’ Nehru family

Congress leader KC Venugopal on Friday moved a motion of privilege against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rajya Sabha for his alleged defamatory remarks against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in his speech during the last Parliament session.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.(PTI file)

In one of the speeches in February, Modi had launched a frontal attack on the Gandhi family members asking why they were ashamed of using the Nehru surname even as he criticised Jawaharlal Nehru as well as Indira Gandhi for repeatedly using Article 356 to topple state governments led by non-Congress parties.

What did PM Modi say?

Modi targeted the Congress on the issue of federalism, saying the Congress dispensations including those led by former prime ministers Nehru and Gandhi used Article 356 of the Constitution at least 90 times to topple state governments of many regional outfits.

Modi alleged that Indira Gandhi alone used Article 356 to topple governments of regional parties in states as many as 50 times.

Replying to a debate on the motion of thanks on the President’s address, Modi said, “I had read in some newspaper, I have not verified it, but a report said as many as 600 government schemes are only in the name of Gandhi-Nehru family.”

“…if Nehru ji’s name is left out by us, we would correct our mistake as he was the first prime minister of the country. But I do not understand why anyone from his clan is afraid of keeping Nehru surname? Is there any shame in having the Nehru surname? What is the shame? When the family is not ready to accept such a great personality, why do you keep questioning us,” he said.

His attack was targeted at Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Sonia Gandhi.

Taking note of the speech Venugopal wrote in the notice, “The above mentioned remarks prima facie made in a mocking manner are not only disgraceful but also insulting and defamatory vis-a-vis the members of Nehru family particularly Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Shri Rahul Gandhi who are Members of Lok Sabha.”

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