Opposition members manhandled marshals amid ruckus in the Rajya Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi alleged on Wednesday while demanding stringent action against the lawmakers. Joshi termed ”totally false” the opposition’s allegations that marshals manhandled their MPs and said one can check facts from CCTV footage.
”The opposition is spreading lies. Marshals can’t dare to touch MPs, they can’t even think about it. CCTV footage will establish that they are lying,” he told reporters outside the Parliament building. Joshi said the government demands that the Rajya Sabha chairman constitute a special committee to probe the misbehaviour and indiscipline by opposition members, and strict action should be taken against them. He said he has never seen such behaviour by MPs in his parliamentary career.
Leader of the House and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal alleged that an MP tried to ”strangulate” a lady security officer. The Rajya Sabha chamber witnessed ugly scenes of opposition members jostling with marshals as they tore papers, entered the Well of the house and attempted to go near the presiding officer’s chair.
After a peaceful debate and the smooth passage of a bill to restore the states’ powers to identify and notify their own lists of OBCs, all hell broke loose when the insurance amendment bill to privatise the state-run general insurance companies was taken up. Calling it a sell-off, the opposition MPs stormed into the Well of the House shouting anti-government slogans.
They were, however, prevented from going anywhere near the table of the House or the chair by a wall of about 50 security staff that sort of cordoned off what Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu referred to as the ”sanctum sanctorum”. A cross-gender staff deployment — female officers where male MPs were protesting and male officers where female MPs were protesting — was made.