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Members enjoy freedom to express views in Lok Sabha: Speaker

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Sunday asserted that India has “a robust democracy” even as he maintained that “all members enjoyed freedom to express their views in the Lok Sabha”. The Speaker’s session-eve comments, though made at an international conference in Bahrain, is being seen by many in political circles here in the context of the ongoing row involving Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s comments in the UK about the state of democracy in India and his lament that Opposition MPs’ mikes were often switched off in Parliament and that many parts of his recent speech were expunged.

While maintaining that “in India we have a robust participatory democracy and a vibrant multi-party system where hopes and aspirations of citizens find expression through elected representatives”, Birla said “members enjoy the freedom to express their views and thoughts in the Lok Sabha”.

According to the Lok Sabha secretariat, the Speaker made these comments while participating in the general debate during the 146th Assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union at Manama, Bahrain.

He said “Parliament of India has always held meaningful debate on global challenges”.

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