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Ministers want action; Democracy murdered, says Rahul

Opposition must apologise for what happened in the Parliament, demands government

Ministers call for action; Congress, other party leaders condemn Centre's authoritarian attitude

Our Bureau, PTI New Delhi Published 12.08.21, 03:17 PM
Centre addresses a press conference on Thursday in New Delhi.

Centre addresses a press conference on Thursday in New Delhi. PTI

Putting the blame on the Opposition for unruly scenes witnessed during the monsoon session of Parliament, a group of union ministers on Thursday said Rajya Sabha Chairman must take the strongest possible action against those who broke the rules.

Addressing a joint press conference in New Delhi, they also accused the opposition leaders of manhandling marshals, while Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Opposition's approach of "my way or highway is highly condemnable" and the country also condemns such attitude.


Goyal, also Leader of House in Rajya Sabha, said the group of ministers met Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the House and made an earnest appeal that the strongest possible action should be taken against the Opposition MPs for their deplorable behaviour and manhandling marshals.

He said the Opposition was unable to digest the fact that the country has given up on them and their behaviour in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday was a new low of the parliamentary democracy.

The Secretary General's table in Rajya Sabha is not meant for dancing and protesting, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said at the press conference, referring to an incident when an opposition leader was seen above a table inside the upper house of Parliament.

"We demand that Rajya Sabha Chairman should take stringent action against those Opposition MPs who broke rules," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said.

He alleged that it was pre-decided by Congress and its friendly allies that they would not allow Parliament to function.

Thakur alleged that "anarchy from streets to Parliament" was the Opposition's only agenda during the monsoon session.

He said the Opposition should apologise to the nation for what happened in Parliament during the monsoon session.

Earlier in the day, a group of union ministers, including Pralhad Joshi Piyush Goyal and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, called on Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu at his official residence here.

Separately, a group of Opposition leaders also met Naidu and complained against the alleged heckling of MPs including some women.

The ministers, on the other hand, are believed to have complained against the alleged unruly behaviour of some opposition members in the House on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Naidu broke down over the huge ruckus in the House and equated the act of some opposition MPs to "sacrilege in the temple of democracy".

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla was also likely to meet Vice President Naidu in the evening.

The tumultuous Monsoon session of Parliament was on Wednesday curtailed by two days.

Leaders of several Opposition parties on Thursday marched in protest against the government on several issues, including Pegasus, farm laws, and alleged manhandling of their MPs in Rajya Sabha, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi saying the voice of people was crushed in Parliament and democracy was "murdered".

Top leaders of several Opposition parties met in the chamber of Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and then walked in protest from Parliament House to Vijay Chowk.

In a joint statement, Opposition leaders condemned the "authoritarian attitude" and "undemocratic actions" of the government and said what had happened in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday was shocking and an insult to the dignity of the House and humiliation of the members.

Accusing the government of stonewalling their demand for discussion, the Opposition leaders charged that was it running away from the debate on Pegasus snooping issue.

"What happened in Rajya Sabha yesterday was shocking, unprecedented, sad and an insult to the very dignity of the House and humiliation of the members of the august House," they said in a joint statement.

They alleged that without any provocation from the Opposition, "outsiders who were not part of Parliament security were brought in to manhandle the Opposition leaders and members, including women Parliamentarians who were only protesting against the Government's conduct, highhandedness and muzzling of the voice".

"The Opposition strongly condemns the authoritarian attitude and undemocratic actions of the Government. We remain committed to continue our struggle against the assault on Parliamentary democracy and agitate the issues of national importance and people's concern," the joint statement said.

Those who attended the meeting included Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Kharge, Sanjay Raut, Tiruchi Siva, Manoj Jha and other Opposition leaders.

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