Rajya Sabha ruckus | Union Ministers seek action against Opposition

Delegation calls on Venkaiah Naidu.

A delegation of seven ministers called on Vice- President M .Venkaiah Naidu, who is the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, to demand action against some of the opposition members for what the government described as “unprecedented, extreme and violent acts” in the House on August 11, the concluding day of the monsoon session of Parliament.

The meeting comes just a day after Mr. Naidu had visited the Parliament House to review television footage of the proceedings including the alleged scuffle between Opposition members and marshals while the General Insurance Amendment Bill, 2021 was being passed.

The delegation submitted a memorandum to Mr. Naidu. During the meeting, the delegation alleged that Opposition members were preventing the marshals from discharging their duties, threw House papers, Minutes book and others, abused the Chair and finally obstructing the House from performing its duties, said the source in the Rajya Sabha secretariat.

Mr. Naidu is learnt to have told the delegation that he “will examine the matter for deciding on the appropriate course of action”.

The delegation consisted of Leader of the Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Labour Minister Bhupnder Yadav and Ministers of State Arjun Ram Meghwal and V. Muraleedharan.

Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Harivansh was also present along with Mr. Naidu when the ministerial delegation called on the Chairman.

The Chairman also separately met Biju Janata Dal member, Sasmit Patra, who is on the panel of Vice-Chairman and was presiding over the proceedings when the ruckus took place.

The events of August 11 in the Rajya Sabha has become a flash point between the government and a united Opposition. While the government accused the Opposition of “violent behaviour”, a united Opposition had alleged that “outsiders in the guise of marshals” were brought in to assault Opposition members including women MPs.

On Thursday, a 14-member delegation including Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar had met Mr Naidu to complain about the treatment of the Opposition members.

“A very large number of security personnel, who were not part of the regular part of the Watch and Ward staff of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, were deployed. They used unacceptable force and physically manhandled Members of Parliament, including women members,” the Opposition leaders said in a joint memorandum.

“Opposition MPs were prevented from registering their protest against the General Insurance Amendment Bill on which there was a wide consensus that it should be referred to a Select Committee. The Opposition strongly condemns the authoritarian attitude and undemocratic actions of the Government,” the memorandum added.

Mr. Pawar too had argued that in his five-decade long Parliamentary career he had never seen scenes that unfolded on Wednesday evening.

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