The standard of national discourse has become such that speaking the truth is seen as “a revolutionary act”, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra told NDTV on Thursday about her fiery speech in parliament this week that has drawn controversy and kudos alike.
Lashing out at the ruling BJP, two of whose MPs have moved a privilege motion over her remarks in parliament on a former Chief Justice of India, Ms Moitra said it was “typical” dirty tricks and propaganda aimed to shut her down.
“This is typical BJP tactics. If you can’t get them with the CBI or ED, then try every dirty trick in the book. If you remember my first speech, way back in June 2019. They first did not catch on that it would become viral or people would identify with my words. In a couple of days’ time when they found out that it did, immediately they set one of their pet media channels to come at with this entire plagiarism rubbish,” she said.
“So similarly, with this speech, it hit home hard and in about 48 hours they understood that a lot of people are resonating with this speech so their spin factories, their propaganda machine, their dirty tricks department were absolutely up to the game and what they have done is two members put in a notice of privilege,” Ms Moitra said.
“They quote Article 121 which is very clear that in the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, you cannot discuss anything related to the conduct of a sitting judge of a high court or the Supreme Court during the discharge of his duties. What I said was in public domain; this particular gentleman is not a sitting judge, he’s an ex-chief justice of the Supreme Court. He has absolutely no constitutional protection whatsoever,” the Trinamool leader said.
Responding to the praise that she had drawn for the speech on Monday which also cut deep into the government’s claims about bold new reforms, the farmers’ movement, and the BJP for using slogans like “Jai Shri Ram” to polarise voters ahead of the Bengal elections, Ms Moitra said she was just speaking the “truth”.
“I don’t think I have said something which is very, very brave in the Lok Sabha. I am there speaking my heart out, what I am speaking is the truth. It is my right to do so as Indian and for the people I represent. The problem that has happened is, imagine how low our bar for courage has fallen in this country, that the very act of speaking the truth is seen as a revolutionary act. The standard of mediocrity that is prevalent everywhere in politics and society today makes even one spark seem like a flame,” she said.
The MP from West Bengal’s Krishnanagar also attacked Home Minister Amit Shah who was campaigning in Bengal for the elections likely in April-May while parliament was in session.
“Parliament is on, Lok Sabha is on, the Honourable Home Minister of the country should be present in the Lok Sabha. What is he doing in an election rally in Bengal, undermining the state government? Mr Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minister, was talking about Chinese aggression and India’s counter to it. Everyone is talking about whatever’s happening at the borders and the state of law and order in this country. Is it not the duty of the Home Minister to be in parliament at least for a few hours rather than go on some raving rant in Cooch Behar in Bengal? Is that what he owes this country? His priorities are very clear,” Ms Moitra said.