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Have sought time for Rahul Gandhi to speak in Lok Sabha on March 21: Mallikarjun Kharge

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said time has been sought for Rahul Gandhi to speak in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday and he will make his statement if allowed.

Kharge also slammed the BJP-led government over the Delhi Police team reaching Gandhi’s residence on Sunday to inquire about his “women are still being sexually assaulted” statement made during the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

“They are trying to divert attention from the issues we have been raising. It has been 46 days since the yatra was completed and they are asking now, ‘whom did you meet’. Lakhs of people connected with the yatra and met him (Gandhi) for five minutes and they are asking to identify people,” Kharge told reporters here on Monday before leaving to attend Parliament.

Gandhi’s speech was made in Jammu and Kashmir and the police are asking about it here, the Congress chief said.

“This is an attempt to target and harass. They want to weaken us by intimidation, but we will not get scared or be weakened,” Kharge said.

Read | Rahul Gandhi to visit Karnataka to kickstart Congress’ poll campaign on March 20

Asked if Gandhi will speak in Parliament, he said, “We have asked for a time tomorrow (Tuesday). If allowed, he (Rahul Gandhi) will speak in Parliament. That is what we have been trying for.”

“This is the problem, we are not even allowed to speak in democracy, microphones are switched off and when we said this, they made allegations. You can see one person wants to give his personal explanation and he is not being given a chance,” he said.

Gandhi will travel to Karnataka on Monday and address a public meeting at Belagavi in the afternoon.

Kharge’s remarks come amid the logjam in Parliament over Gandhi’s statements made during his recent trip to the UK, with both Houses failing to transact any significant business on the first five days of the budget session’s second half.

During his interactions in the United Kingdom, the Gandhi scion alleged that the structures of Indian democracy are under attack and there is a “full-scale assault” on the country’s institutions. He also told British parliamentarians that microphones are often “turned off” in the Lok Sabha when an opposition member raises important issues.

Gandhi’s remarks triggered a political slugfest, with the BJP accusing him of maligning India on foreign soil and seeking foreign interventions, and the Congress hitting back at the ruling party by citing instances of Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising internal politics abroad.

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