Hope No Muslim MP Is Called Terrorist Or Bills Rushed: Ruhullah Mehdi In Lok Sabha

NEW DELHI: Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, the newly-elected MP from Srinagar, on Wednesday urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to ensure the sanctity of the House by restraining members from making disparaging remarks like dubbing a Muslim parliamentarian a “terrorist” or rushing legislations like the abrogation of Article 370.

In his two-minute inaugural address after Birla was elected Speaker, the National Conference member made a passionate appeal and emphasised, “I would request you that from today you are neither BJP nor Congress or Samajwadi, and you have only one party, and that is the Constitution of India.” He expressed hope that the Speaker would uphold the Constitution and lead the house as a beacon of democracy.

Mehdi cryptically alluded to the Speaker’s legacy, stating that his actions in handling both the government and opposition voices would define his tenure.

“This House would remember you for your actions whether you forced treasury benches to listen to the opposition or you silenced the opposition,” he said.

Mehdi highlighted the importance of respecting elected representatives and cited a past incident where a member termed a fellow MP, who was Muslim, as “terrorist”.

“You will be remembered how you silenced the voices in the House that called an elected Muslim MP a terrorist or did you allow those voices.

“If an elected MP is called a terrorist in this House, then I wonder what would be happening to other Muslims in the country,” Mehdi said after which Birla interrupted.

Mehdi stressed the significance of preventing instances where elected representatives are disparaged in the House, expressing concerns about the treatment of Muslims across the country if such behaviour goes unchecked.

He was referring to the incident during a special session last September where former BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri called former BSP’s Danish Ali a ‘Muslim terrorist’.

In his letter to the Speaker, Ali said the BJP South Delhi MP had called him “bhadwa (pimp), “katwa (circumcised one)” and “Mullah aatankwadi (Muslim terrorist)”.

The remarks were expunged by the Speaker from the records. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was present in the Lok Sabha during the exchange, had apologised to the House for Bidhuri’s remarks soon after.

Later Bidhuri expressed regret for his objectionable remarks during a meeting of the Lok Sabha Privileges Committee in December.

Mehdi also underscored the need for thorough discussions on critical bills, referring to the passage of the Article 370 bill.

Birla responded by informing the House about the extensive debate that preceded the bill’s passage, countering Mehdi’s assertion of a rushed legislative process. (PTI)

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