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Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi (Photo/ANI)
Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi (Photo/ANI)

Opposition members in Rajya Sabha manhandled marshals, their behaviour 'black spot' on democracy: Pralhad Joshi

ANI | Updated: Aug 11, 2021 23:53 IST

New Delhi [India], August 11 (ANI): Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Wednesday alleged that opposition members "manhandled marshals" in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and said their behaviour during the session was a "black spot in the history of Indian democracy".
"What happened yesterday, today, and also on August 4, will be a black spot on the history of Indian democracy. Marshals were manhandled. Crossing all limits, there was an attempt to attack marshals. However, they kept on standing with utmost patience. I urge the government to constitute a committee and take strict action against them (opposition members)," Joshi told ANI.
Asked about allegations that women MPs were manhandled by marshals, he said, "Women MPs were not manhandled, I can challenge this."
The Union Minister also appealed to the Chairman to release the CCTV footage in the public domain.
"What happened today, I urge the chairman to release the CCTV footage in the public domain," he said.
Joshi also termed the disruptions by the opposition members as a "planned attempt".
"In the monsoon session of the Parliament, whatever happened till the end was a planned attempt. Since the first day, they (opposition) have been saying that we will wash out the current session. They remained silent when leaders of the opposition spoke whereas that did not happen when government leaders spoke," he said.
The minister said the Centre had agreed to initiate discussions on the issues raised by the Opposition.
"The government had agreed to discuss on the economic situation and price rise, COVID-19 and also on agricultural issues including bills. Later, they came to Pegasus. We issued a suo moto statement on the matter. Opportunity for clarification was given but they did not utilize it," he said.
Joshi also referred to previous incidents in the House including the one in which a glass pane was broken and a woman security member injured.
"When chairman has suspended six people, they tried to enter the chamber after it was closed and they also tried to break the glass of the door which hit a security member," Joshi said, alleging that attempts were made to pull down morale of security staff.
He also noted that the government wants to hear "constructive criticism."
"They had demanded a discussion on agriculture and we accepted. But they shouted and created a ruckus. We want to hear constructive criticism. We waited. But after 10-15 minutes, 2-3 politicians climbed on the reporting table and not only that, a video was also recorded which is illegal. The video clippings were then released on social media. They were throwing rule books, which could have injured people," he said.
"I condemn this attitude. If the government is doing a mistake, you go and tell it to the people. The people have given their mandate to the Narendra Modi-led government. What is this way in which you are behaving? Not only this, spreading lies is worth condemning," he added.
The minister said that the Chairman of Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu had made an emotional appeal to opposition members not to behave in such a manner.
"On this also, people were giving negative comments after stepping out. He was pained because he has been in political life for so many years and people attempted to make a mockery of it," he said.
Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die on Wednesday, two days before the scheduled conclusion of the upper House of Parliament. Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die earlier in the day.
The Opposition resorted to vociferous protests on Wednesday as the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 was taken up for consideration in the upper House after it passed a constitution amendment bill unanimously.
The bill was moved for consideration and passing by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Protesting opposition members came to the well of the House and some of them were seen tearing papers.
They accused the government of not following parliamentary norms and "bulldozing" the legislation. The Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill was taken up after the upper House unanimously passed the constitution amendment bill to enable states to prepare their own OBC lists.
The opposition has also been protesting and forcing adjournments on their other demands including a probe into allegations of surveillance through Pegasus spyware and repeal of new farm laws. (ANI)