Congress MP Ramya Haridas on Monday wrote a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, alleging that a Bharatiya Janata Party MP had assaulted her after a ruckus erupted during the Parliament’s Budget Session, reported Outlook. During the first day of the second phase of the Budget Session, both the Houses were adjourned several times after the Opposition tried to debate on the violence that broke out in Delhi last week, claiming 46 lives.
“…I was physically assaulted by the MP Ms Jaskaur Meena,” the Congress MP’s letter read. Haridas also questioned if she was assaulted repeatedly “because I am Dalit and [a] woman?”, adding that action should be initiated against the BJP leader.
The Congress MP alleged that Meena hit her on the shoulder as she proceeded to the Well of the Lower House. “Parliament is not secure for women Parliament members,” she told ANI. However, Meena refuted the allegations, and claimed: “As she opened the banner in Lok Sabha, it hit me on my head. I asked her to move ahead. I didn’t hit or push her. If she says she is using ‘Dalit’ word, then I’m also a Dalit woman.”
During the first phase of the Winter Session in November last year, the Congress had alleged that its women parliamentarians had been manhandled in the Lok Sabha by marshals during protests over government formation in Maharashtra. Haridas was one of the women who had allegedly been manhandled.
Reacting to the allegations by Haridas, Union minister and BJP MP Smriti Irani claimed that Congress MPs had misbehaved with women parliamentarians from her party, reported PTI. “I would appeal to the Speaker [Om Birla] to take the strongest possible action against them,” she said. “For the past two to three sessions ‘goonda’ elements of the Congress are disrupting Parliament proceedings.”
After the Lok Sabha reconvened at 2 pm, Opposition leaders chanted slogans against the Centre from the Well. The protesting leaders went forward to the treasury benches, showing them black banners, and called for Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s resignation. Last week, a controversy began after the Congress invoked “raj dharma [duty of a leader]” to call for Shah’s removal as he failed to contain the communal violence in Delhi.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said he suffered “personal pain” over the ruckus in the Lower House, reported ANI. “Our effort should be that we maintain the dignity of Parliament,” he said. “I am personally pained over what happened in the House, We do not want to run the House in this condition.”