Parliament: Both Houses adjourned amid Oppn ruckus; Centre to seek suspension of TMC MP for misbehaving with IT minister-India News , Firstpost

The minister’s statement, which was laid on the table of the House, called the reports on the Pegasus scandal an ‘attempt to malign the Indian democracy and its well-established institutions’

Opposition members raised slogans and trooped into the Well of the House as IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnav started his speech on the Pegasus scandal. Image courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV

Ruckus from the Opposition benches led to repeated adjournments of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on the third day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament with Trinamool Congress MP Santanu Sen snatching IT minister Ashwini Vaishnav’s statement in the Rajya Sabha and tearing it.

The Centre will move a motion seeking Sen’s suspension tomorrow. TMC, Congress and other Opposition party members, who had earlier forced two adjournments of the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha, rushed into the well of the House as Vaishnaw was called to make a statement on the issue.

Hardeep Singh Puri abused me: Santanu Sen

Sen for his part claimed that Union minister Hardeep Puri verbally abused him in the Rajya Sabha and was on the verge of physically assaulting him before he was rescued by his colleagues.

Sen, who snatched and tore Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s speech on the Pegasus issue as he was reading it out in the Rajya Sabha, claimed Puri even gesticulated rudely at him.

“The Union minister threatened me and abused me. He was about to assault me when my other colleagues came to my rescue,” alleged Sen in a press conference.

What did the IT minister say about the Pegasus row?

The minister’s statement, which was laid on the table of the House, was similar to the one he had made on 19 July. He called the reports on the Pegasus scandal an “attempt to malign the Indian democracy and its well-established institutions”.

“A highly sensational story was published by a web portal last night. Many over-the-top allegations made around this story,” he said. “The press reports appeared a day before the monsoon session of Parliament. This can’t be a coincidence.” Amid the ruckus, Vaishnaw implored all members of the House to “examine the issue on facts and logic”.

Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha witness repeated adjournments

Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha was forced to adjourned proceedings for the day. The House was also adjourned due to similar chaos till 12 pm and 2 pm, within minutes of resuming each time.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha proceedings were repeatedly adjourned amid sloganeering by Opposition members over various issues, including three recent farm laws and Pegasus snooping. Proceedings were adjourned thrice and the last adjournment was till 4 pm.

Two bills – the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 and the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 – were introduced in the Lower House.

Opposition MPs protest farm laws

Inside the Parliament complex, some Opposition parties staged protests demanding a repeal of the three farm laws. Shiromani Akali Dal MPs, including former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, showed placards to agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, while Congress leaders gathered at the Gandhi statue.

Farmers stage protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar

Over 200 farmers sat on protest at Jantar Mantar, situated close to the Parliament in Delhi. This is the second protest to be conducted by farmers in Delhi, after the 26 January tractor rally. The protest, which farmers say they will continue till the end of the Parliament session on 13 August, is being held to mark eight months of the agitation against agricultural laws. Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, however, has granted permission for the protest only till 9 August.

Continue to raise Pegasus issue: TMC to its MPs

Trinamool Congress MPs met Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy at his residence in Delhi along with Abhishek Banerjee and election strategist Prashant Kishor. It was decided in the meeting that the TMC MPs should continue raising the issue of Pegasus surveillance in Parliament every day until the questions are not answered, according to News18.

With inputs from agencies