Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said if he is allowed to speak in parliament on Friday, it would allow him clarify his position and also it stands as a test of "Indian democracy functioning". 

Amid the storm in parliament over allegations that he insulted the country abroad, the Wayanad MP said four Union ministers have sought his apology over his remarks at an interaction at Cambridge University last week, when he said that Indian democracy was under attack and several politicians, including himself, were under surveillance.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul GandhiIANS

"So, if Indian democracy was functioning, I would be able to say my piece in Parliament. So, actually what you are seeing is a test of Indian democracy. After four leaders of the BJP have made an allegation about a Member of Parliament, is the Member of Parliament going to be given the same space that those four ministers were given or is he going to be told to shut up?" Gandhi asked reporters on Thursday.

Earlier, he met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, and sought a chance to speak. He said Birla smiled at him but remained non-committal. "I went to Parliament this morning with the idea of putting (forward) what I have said or what I feel on the floor of the House. Four ministers have raised allegations against me in Parliament House... it is my right to be allowed to speak on the floor of the House," he said.

Lok Sabha
BJP MPs create ruckus over Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's democracy remark, in Lok Sabha during the budget session of Parliament House in New Delhi on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. (Photo: Lok Sabha/IANS)IANS

Rahul Gandhi reminded that the BJP's protests against his remarks were part of distraction from his questions raised in parliament on Hindenburg Research's report on fraud and stock manipulation by the Adani Group. The opposition parties have been demanding a joint parliamentary committee probe into the issue.

Rahul Gandhi also reiterated his "fundamental question" and added, "what is the relationship between the Prime Minister of India and Mr Adani and his companies and more importantly, whose money is in the shell companies? Who is this unknown person, whose money is in the shell companies? What is his relationship with Mr Adani? These are the questions." 

He noted that the Adani group was given loans by State Bank of India, and contracts by foreign countries, questions which he had raised earlier during a debate on the President's speech on February 2. A large part of his speech was expunged.