As the ruling BJP accused the Congress of resorting to "goondagardi" (hooliganism) in the Rajya Sabha during the discussion on two agriculture-related bills, a video emerged that showed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Sanjay Singh being escorted out of the House by marshals.
In the video clip, which looks to be shot on a mobile phone, MPs are seen in the well in front of Deputy Chairman Harivansh. The MPs are heard shouting slogans while marshals create a ring around the Chair.
Amid the din, one MP tears up the bill and throws it over towards the Chair. Soon after, Sanjay Singh is seen clashing with a marshal who was apparently trying to evacuate the MP. He later jumps on a table and raises slogans, only to be escorted out of the House by a group of marshals.
The video was also shared by Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi who said "Congress & company don't want discussion or division only disruption & confusion."
He said the video was circulated by "Congress & company."
Attempts made to attack Deputy Chairman: BJP accuses Congress of 'goondagardi' in Rajya Sabha
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar alleged that Congress resorted to "goondagardi" (hooliganism) in the Rajya Sabha during the discussion on two agriculture-related bills.
"Despite recommendations of various commissions and experts, Congress never did justice to farmers who found themselves helpless for years. Today, when Congress realised they don't have support in Rajya Sabha, they resorted to 'goondagardi'. Congress has proved they don't believe in democracy. The way attempts were made to attack the Deputy Chairman is condemnable. The act of Congress is an insult to the people," Tomar told reporters.
"The anti-farmers face of the Congress party and other protesting parties came in front of the people. The way they acted today is undemocratic. I strongly condemn their action," he said.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi alleged that Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh was physically attacked during the discussion on the two agriculture bills in the Upper House and said that the Opposition has shown their anti-democratic mindset with their act.
Speaking on the bills, the minister said that farmers are now free to sell wherever they want, to whoever they want, and at whatever price they can command "At the same time, the structure of MSP has also been retained for those farmers who may wish to sell their produce through the Mandi-MSP structure. The bills passed today will bring in more investment and technology in the farming sector and go a long way in doubling the farm incomes. In every sense, this is a win-win situation for the farmers," Joshi said.
"However, such a historic day was marred by the uncouth, unparliamentarily, ruffian and violent behaviour of a few in the opposition, led by the Congress party. The debates on the three Agriculture bills was flowing smoothly. Many speakers had spoken. Towards the end of the debate, former Prime Minister Dewe Gowda ji spoke and everyone heard him in silence. Then Ahmed Patel of Congress party spoke and attacked the government and yet he was also heard fully as is the Parliamentary norm of civil debates," he said.
The minister said that the Congress party started its "thuggish" and violent behaviour after the chair's request to extend the session till the bills were disposed-off.
'Black day' for parliamentary democracy: Congress
Responding to the the BJP's charges, the Congress called the behaviour of the government as a "black day" in India's democratic history.
Addressing the press conference, Congress leaders KC Venugopal ,Randeep Surjewala ,Shaktisinh Gohil, Rajeev Satav, and Partap Singh Bajwa said that the fight for the farmers will go on till its logical end.
Venugopal said "The manner in which the government pushed through the grossly anti-farmer Bills was totally against any and every procedure and tradition laid out in the rulebook."
While Gohil alleged that the government is misusing the chair and this is the true "Modi model".
The Congress leaders alleged that "high-handedness" and utter disregard for democratic tradition and norms seems to have become the new normal even in Parliament.
"The government bulldozed the anti-farmer Bills at the cost of well established parliamentary procedures, rules and traditions. They were hellbent on helping their crony capitalist friends by going to any extent, including denying discussion and division for passing the Bills in the house," said Surjewala.
Many members had moved notices to refer these bills to the select committee for wider consultation and assessment. However, in an unprecedented and tyrannical way the government turned a deaf ear to our democratic rights, the party alleged.
"The very right to speak on the Bills and seek for a division was completely negated through sheer and unjustifiable arrogance and authoritarianism. Such an unprecedented instance of undemocratic passage of anti-people legislation was never heard of in the history of Indian Parliament. This is naked murder of democracy and parliamentary traditions," it said.
The opposition parties have unanimously decided to move a no-confidence motion against the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman for his "anti-democratic and anti-parliamentary conduct" in the passage of these Bills and the 12 parties will meet on Monday to decide the strategy.
"His actions amount to serious breach of the privileges of the members and killing of the very ideals he is supposed to protect under oath," said Venugopal.