The BJP responded immediately, calling Gandhi immature and saying he was just indulging in bluff and bluster. Photograph:( AFP )
Parliament was again not allowed to function Wednesday, because of the continued uproar over demonetisation.
Opposition raises "Modi sarkar hosh me aao" slogans in Lok Sabha #DeMonetisation— ANI (@ANI_news) December 14, 2016
The Lok Sabha or lower house was adjourned till tomorrow. Not counting today, there are now only two days left in this current winter session of parliament.
The Rajya Sabha or upper house was adjourned till 2 pm.
Parliament has not been allowed to function at all this winter session; the Opposition has been demanding a debate and vote on the government's shock demonetisation of India's 500- and 1,000-rupee notes. (That sucked 86 per cent of the cash in circulation then out of the economy.) The government has so far not agreed to the demand.
And while there was immense support for the stated aims of the move -- getting to the black money in the economy and cutting down on terror funding -- reports from around the country point to people having had to face tremendous amounts of hardship post November 8 when Prime Minister Modi made his shock announcement.
But, the real "masala" -- the Hindi word for spice -- took place outside of Parliament.
At a joint media briefing by the Opposition after Parliament was adjourned, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi made the startling allegation that he had "information about personal corruption by Prime Minister Modi" but that he was not being allowed to speak in Parliament.
"Read my lips... the PM is personally terrified of the information I have. It is personal corruption of the PM," he said.
Mr Gandhi had recently said that if he were allowed to speak in Parliament, his words would "cause an earthquake".
When WION's Kartikeya Sharma asked Mr Gandhi why, if he was not being allowed to speak in Parliament, he did not make his allegation(s) about Mr Modi in front of the media, Gandhi replied: "I am an elected member of Parliament. I have a right to speak in Parliament. That right is being denied to me."
Later, he told the media corps that it was imperative the Narendra Modi administration explained to public in detail about the merits of demonetisation.
TV news channels reported first reactions from the BJP as: "BJP laughs off Rahul's allegations".
Prime Minister Modi attended Parliament today; he was in the Lok Sabha.
And with both the government and the Opposition having told their MPs to attend Parliament today, there had been some hope earlier in the day that the Prime Minister would speak in Parliament and answer his detractors.