NEW DELHI – Rahul Gandhi, heir to the political dynasty that controlled India for decades, has disrupted proceedings in Parliament, storming an area near the speaker's chair and demanding an inquiry into communal violence in the country.
The move on Wednesday appeared to be an attempt to use his party's newfound role in the opposition to rail against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which swept the Gandhi family's Congress party from power in recent elections.
Gandhi and other members of his party stormed the well of the lower house, an area around the speaker's chair that is out of bounds for lawmakers, after their inquiry demand was rejected by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. Rahul Gandhi charged the Narendra Modi government with not allowing discussion in Parliament where he said only one man's voice is heard.
"We are not being allowed to speak in Parliament. We are asking for discussion. There is a mentality in the government that discussion is not acceptable. Everybody feels it, their party feels it, we feel it, everybody feels it," Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament.
Reacting to a reporter's comment that he was raising his voice for the first time and leading from the front, Gandhi said, "I have raised my voice many times in Parliament." Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House during the din.