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Trinamul, BJP in House brawl

Trinamul MP Moon Moon Sen arrives at Parliament on Tuesday. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi, July 8: Trinamul today alleged misbehaviour against its Lok Sabha women members by a “drunk” BJP MP, whose party denied the allegation and accused the lawmakers from Bengal of having insulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the railway budget.

The BJP MP, who almost came to blows with some Trinamul members, was identified as first-timer Harinarayan Rajbhar, elected from Ghosi in Uttar Pradesh.

Trinamul complained to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, demanded action against Rajbhar and threatened an agitation if he was not punished. Rajbhar and his BJP colleagues hit back by saying some Trinamul MPs had used “unparliamentary language” against Modi.

“Narendra Modi has come with such a massive majority and the Trinamul members used abusive language against him at the start of the budget session. This is not acceptable,” said a minister.

The showdown came during aggressive protests by Trinamul against the rail budget, dubbed “anti-people” and “anti-Bengal” by party MPs who stormed the well repeatedly chanting “Narendra Modi hai hai (Shame Narendra Modi)”.

The trouble started at 3pm, after the lunch break, when the Trinamul protest did not allow a discussion on price rise and forced an adjournment till 3.30pm.

When the House reassembled, many BJP members protested the disruption by Trinamul. Some were heard cautioning the Trinamul MPs for casting aspersions on Modi. The duel continued, forcing another adjournment.

When the members came back this time, angry exchanges were seen between the Trinamul MPs and Rajbhar, almost leading to fisticuffs.

The Trinamul members led by Kalyan Banerjee stomped out of the House and sat on a dharna in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in the Parliament complex.

“When we were returning from the well after our peaceful protest against the rail budget, the BJP MP used abusive language and threatened to beat us. The MP was drunk,” Trinamul MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar alleged.

Her colleague and Dum Dum MP Saugata Roy raised the issue when the House reassembled at 4.30pm. “The BJP MP threatened our lady members that he would beat them up”, Roy said.

Information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar sought to cool matters but ended up provoking Trinamul by accusing party MPs of disruption. “Those who have disturbed the House are complaining,” Javadekar said.

Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu termed the ruckus “unfortunate” but refrained from referring to the brawl. “When the House is not in order nobody takes responsibility for the arguments between members.”