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Days after two BJP parliamentarians moved a privilege notice against Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on a Facebook post apparently taking a dig atthe BJP-led NDA government, the latter on Thursday invoked his "fundamental right to expression" and offered no apologies.
Vadra, in a three-page letter, has invoked his "fundamental right to expression", adding that as a citizen of India "I have high respect for Parliament and don't have any disrespect to the house."
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Thursday said she had received a reply to the notice sent to Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and the Lok Sabha secretariat was examining it.
"We have got his (Vadra) reply. I have sent it to the secretary general. They are examining it. A decision will be taken in a day or two," Mahajan told media persons.
"This is not a big issue. If there will be nothing (serious), there will be no case of (parliamentary) privilege (involved)," she said.
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Lok Sabha Secretariat had on July 27 sought explanation from Vadra over his remarks on social networking site that led to a controversy in Lok Sabha last week and BJP MP Prahlad Joshi moving a privilege motion against him
Vadra, in his Facebook post on July 21, had taken a dig at the BJP-led NDA government, without naming it, before the Monsoon session began. The Monsoon session of Parliament
started on July 21.
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"Parliament begins and so do their petty diversionary political tactics... People of India are not fooled. Regret to see India led by such so-called leaders !!," Vadra had said in
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Protesting against it, BJP MP Prahlad Joshi said in Lok Sabha that Vadra had "demeaned" Parliamentarians and wanted the issue be referred to the Privileges Committee of
Parliament and he be brought before the House.
The MP had later moved a privilege motion against Vadra. Sources say that the Lok Sabha Secretariat has given Vadra a week to explain on the BJP MP's privilege motion.
Speaker will take a decision on whether to refer the matter to the Privileges Committee after perusing Vadra's response.
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"As per the standard operating procedure, we have asked for his remarks on his comments that led to a controversy," Parliament sources said.
At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said he was not aware about the notice, but if was given, a proper reply would be given.
Joshi had raised the issue in Lok Sabha on July 23 at a time when the House was already paralysed because of Opposition's demand for resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and her Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the Lalit Modi issue and Vyapam scam.
In the din, Leader of Congress in the Lower House Mallikarjun Kharge had then demanded Joshi's remarks to be immediately expunged as Vadra was not a member of the House.
(With Inputs From PTI)