Seven Union ministers on Sunday evening met Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to demand action against some Opposition members for the “unprecedented, extreme and violent acts” in the Upper House on August 11, reported The Hindu.
The Monsoon Session of Parliament, which ended two days before its schedule on August 11, saw several disruptions as the government and the Opposition reached an impasse over discussion on allegations that the Pegasus spyware was used to monitor several politicians, journalists and activists in India.
The bedlam peaked in the Rajya Sabha on August 11 as Opposition MPs physically clashed with security personnel. A joint statement by a group of MPs accused the government of bringing in “outsiders not part of Parliament security” in order to “manhandle Opposition leaders and members, including women parliamentarians”.
The government, on the other hand, blamed the Opposition for creating a ruckus.
A delegation of Union ministers Piyush Goyal, Pralhad Joshi, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Dharmendra Pradhan, Bhupender Yadav, Arjun Ram Meghwal and V Muraleedharan met Naidu on Sunday to discuss the matter. Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh was also present.
The ministers reiterated their demand for action against the Opposition MPs. During the meeting, they referred to marshals being prevented from discharging their duties. The delegation submitted a memorandum to Naidu.
Naidu reportedly said he will examine the matter and then decide on an appropriate course of action, according to the Hindustan Times.
On Saturday, Naidu had visited Parliament to review television footage of the proceedings when the General Insurance Amendment Bill, 2021, was being passed. He also separately met Biju Janata Dal member Sasmit Patra, who was presiding over the proceedings when the ruckus took place.
Pralhad Joshi blames TMC, Congress MPs for chaos
Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi on Sunday said the government was always ready to hold discussions, and blamed some Trinamool Congress and Congress MPs for the chaos in the Rajya Sabha.
“The government was ready to discuss every issue, including the Covid situation and vaccination, farm laws and economic situation, as they demanded,” Joshi told The New Indian Express. “Even on the Pegasus issue, the government made a suo motu statement, but a TMC member misbehaved with the IT minister. The intention of the opposition was quite clear: not to allow the Houses to function. It was clear right from the first day.
When asked if action will be taken against the MPs responsible, Joshi said the allegations levelled by Opposition were distasteful.
“We will appeal to the Rajya Sabha chairman to hold an inquiry by a separate committee,” he added. “We will inquire into the Rajya Sabha incident and ensure punishment for the persons responsible, to send a clear signal.”