August 16, 2021 5:35:47 pm
NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday claimed the use of force by marshals during a ruckus in the Rajya Sabha last week was an “indirect attack on parliamentarians”, and if seven Union ministers come together before media to justify the government, it shows they are on a “weak wicket”.
Addressing a press conference here, the Rajya Sabha member said in his 54 years of parliamentary life, he had never seen 40 marshals entering the House during the session.
Pawar further said a probe was needed into the allegations that “outsiders” entered the House when it was in session.
He also said any Congress leader from among Abhishek Manu Singhvi, P Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal should be part of a parliamentary committee on the Pegasus snooping issue.
Before the Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die last Wednesday, it witnessed ugly scenes of Opposition members jostling with marshals as they tore papers, entered the Well of the Upper 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”.
Referring to the din in the House, Pawar said, “We were told some bills are about constitutional amendment. The opposition said there is no mention of the Pegasus (snooping) issue to be discussed. Whatever happened, happened in front of me since my seat is in the front. Some members did go into the Well.”
“As many as 40 marshals were called who physically pushed the MPs, which included two women. Many rushed to help them. The marshals used force which was an indirect attack on the parliamentarians,” said Pawar, whose party shares power with the Shiv Sena and Congress in Maharashtra.
He said Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena’s leader in the Rajya Sabha) was physically lifted by marshals.
On Sunday, seven Union ministers met Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and demanded action against some Opposition members for their alleged unruly acts in the House on August 11.
Pawar said, “If seven Union ministers come together before media to justify the government, it shows they are on a weak wicket. The government may take action against the Opposition members, but this is very dangerous for democracy.”