Eleven opposition parties on Thursday condemned the government for bringing “outsiders who were not part of Parliament security” in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday evening to beat up the opposition leaders and MPs, including women Parliamentarians. They were reacting to Union Minister and leader of House Piyush Goyal unleashing an attack on the Opposition for allegedly assaulting the security personnel just before the monsoon session was wound up. They said the video footage of the cameras installed in the House should be checked to identify the outsiders and punish them for “unauthorised entry” in the House.
In a joint statement, they said: “What happened in the Rajya Sabha was shocking, unprecedented, sad, an insult to the very dignity of the House and humiliation of members of the august House.” They said the assault was without any provocation from the opposition, except that the MPs were protesting the government’s “highhandedness and muzzling of the voice”.
PLEA TO CHAIRMAN
The opposition leaders also called on Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu at his residence to submit a memorandum to lodge their protest. Their statement “committed” them “to continue the struggle against the assault on Parliamentary democracy” and agitate the issue of national importance and people’s concern.
Those signing the joint statement were Mallikarjun Kharge, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Anand Sharma (Congress), TR Baalu and Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Ramgopal Yadav (SP), Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena), Manoj Jha (RJD), Elamaram Kareem (CPI-M), Binoy Viswam (CPI), ET Mohd Basheer (IUML), NK Prechandran (RSP) and Thomas Chazhikadan (Kerala Cong-M).
The leaders blamed the government for being squarely responsible for the stalemate and using its “brute majority” to push through the legislative agenda in violation of established procedures, conventions and spirit of Parliamentary democracy.
“To divert attention from its own conduct and actions, the Government has unleashed a state-sponsored, malicious and misleading campaign by blaming the combined Opposition for the disruption of Parliament,” they added.
Rahul Gandhi, who joined the MPs’ march from Parliament House to Vijay Chowk after a meeting in the chamber of Kharge, accused Prime Minister Modi of selling the “soul of the nation”. Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut said the scene in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday was as though martial law had been imposed.