A day after the Monsoon session ended amid unruly scenes in the Rajya Sabha, leaders of several opposition parties on Thursday stepped up their offensive accusing the government of crushing their voice in Parliament, "murdering" democracy and bringing "outsiders" as marshals to beat up MPs, a charge denied by the government.
The government on its part alleged that the opposition members misbehaved and pushed the marshals in the upper house when the Insurance Bill was being passed. It also charged the opposition with disrupting Parliament and not allowing it to function normally.
A video of the melee in the Rajya Sabha where opposition MPs are seen clashing with the marshals also went viral with both sides blaming each other.
During the day, both the opposition leaders and union ministers met Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu at his residence separately demanding action against those indulging in violence and ascertaining the truth.
Naidu also met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and both expressed concern over the unruly developments and said strict action should be taken to avoid recurrence of such events in future.
Leaders of 11 opposition parties met in Parliament in the morning after which they staged a protest match to Vijay Chowk, where they addressed the media. They also issued a joint statement and accused the government of deliberately derailing Parliament and alleged that their MPs including women members were manhandled by outsiders who were not part of Parliament security.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the voice of people was crushed in Parliament and democracy was "murdered".
"The Parliament session is over. Frankly, as far as 60 per cent of the country is concerned, there has been no Parliament session because the voice of 60 per cent of this country has been crushed, humiliated and yesterday in the Rajya Sabha (the MPs were) physically beaten," Gandhi alleged.
He said the opposition was not allowed to speak inside Parliament and "this is nothing short of murder of democracy".
Gandhi also trained his guns on the prime minister, accusing him of "selling the country to two-three industrialists".
"For the first time in Rajya Sabha, MPs were beaten up, after bringing people from outside, who were made to wear blue uniforms," he claimed and added that "It is the Chairman's and Speaker's responsibility to run the House."
Echoing Gandhi, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut alleged that no Parliament session was held as the opposition was not allowed to raise issues of public importance.
"The way people were brought and deployed as marshals in Rajya Sabha, I felt like marshal law was imposed and I was standing at Pakistan border as I was stopped from going inside," he said.
Tiruchi Siva said one has never witnessed such behaviour in Parliament in decades.
Praful Patel said his leader Sharad Pawar has stated that he has never seen such shameful incidents in Parliament in his long political career.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, however, termed as "totally false" the opposition's allegations that marshals manhandled their MPs and said one can check facts from CCTV footage.
The parties whose leaders were present in the Opposition meeting were from the Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena, SP, DMK, CPIM, CPI, RJD, IUML, RSP and Kerala Congress (M). TMC, AAP and BSP did not attend.
Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha secretariat said no outsiders were deployed as marshals inside the House. Chairman Naidu met Rajya Sabha officials and asked them to prepare a detailed note on who indulged in violence after watching the video footage.
A discussion is underway over the formation of a committee to look into unruly events that took place in the upper house, a demand made by the government, sources said.
During their meeting, Kharge also submitted a representation signed by him and other leaders of opposition parties to Naidu stating that a very large number of security personnel, who were not part of the regular watch and ward staff of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, were deployed in the House on August 10.
Anand Sharma said they conveyed their strong protest over what happened in the House yesterday, alleging that the government violated every understanding that it reached with the opposition.
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