High drama in Rajya Sabha: TMC MP snatches IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw's statement on Pegasus report and tears it

High drama unfolded in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday after TMC MP tore papers and flung them into the air while Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was reading a statement on the alleged snooping using an Israeli company spyware Pegasus.

According to reports, TMC MP Santanu Sen snatched the statement from Ashwini Vaishnaw in Rajya Sabha and tore it into pieces.

Following this, there was a verbal feud between BJP and TMC MPs. Marshals intervened to bring the situation under control. Heated words were exchanged between Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and TMC MP Santanu Sen after the latter snatched a paper from IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw while he was speaking on 'Pegasus Project' report in Rajya Sabha.

The incident took place when Ashwini Vaishnaw was called to make a statement over the Pegasus issue. After Ashwini Vaishnaw was called to make a statement over the Pegasus issue, TMC and other Opposition party members rushed into the well of the House and shouted slogans and tore papers that appeared to be copies of the statement that the Electronics and Information Technology Minister was to make.

As papers were flung into the air, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw could not complete his statement and instead laid a copy of it on the table of the House.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh asked members to desist from unparliamentary behaviour, before adjourning the proceedings of the House for the rest of the day.

Speaking to ANI, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta said, "It seems that some people of Opposition, notably some of the TMC MPs, got up and took the paper from the hands of the IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw while he was speaking on 'Pegasus' and tore it up. This is completely unseemly behaviour."

"He was making a statement, you had a right to question him after that but instead of going in for a debate, is this the type of hooliganism we see inside the House? This is completely against all norms, I think it should be condemned outright," added Dasgupta.

The proceedings of the Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day on Thursday as opposition members demanded suspension of the Business to discuss Pegasus project, farmers protests and raids on media houses.

When the house assembled at 2 p.m. after two brief adjournments, opposition members did not allow the IT Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw to make statement in the House on Pegasus Project issue. The chair asked him to lay the statement and that he did, after which Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House for Friday.

In the morning soon after the Rajya Sabha assembled, Congress MP Digvijaya Singh wanted to raise the issue of Pegasus Project and raids on media houses but the Chair disallowed it and after that the opposition MPs stood from their seats and demanded these issues to be taken up first for discussion in the House than government business.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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