Lok Sabha disrupted over Delhi riots; Congress' Ramya Haridas claims she was assaulted, says 'because I am a Dalit woman?'

An uproar erupted in the Lok Sabha on Monday as BJP and Congress MPs pushed and shoved each other after the Opposition party protested over the issue of the Delhi violence and demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah.

FP Staff March 02, 2020 18:04:42 IST
Lok Sabha disrupted over Delhi riots; Congress' Ramya Haridas claims she was assaulted, says 'because I am a Dalit woman?'
  • Congress MP Ramya Haridas wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla alleging that she was 'physically assaulted' by BJP MP Jaskaur Meena, who denied the allegation

  • In the letter, Haridas wrote, '…I was physically assaulted by the MP Ms Jaskaur Meena. Is this repeatedly happened to me just because I am Dalit and woman? [sic].'

  • On Monday, the Lok Sabha was adjourned three times till 4.30 pm as the ruckus over Delhi violence continued

Ruckus erupted in the Lok Sabha on Monday as BJP and Congress MPs pushed and shoved each other after the Opposition party protested over the issue of the Delhi violence and demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah.

Congress MP Ramya Haridas wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla alleging that she was “physically assaulted” by BJP MP Jaskaur Meena, who denied the allegation. In the letter, Haridas wrote, “…I was physically assaulted by the MP Ms Jaskaur Meena. Is this repeatedly happened to me just because I am Dalit and woman? [sic].”

She was also quoted by ANI as saying, “I am a Dalit woman. Today when the Parliament session started at 3pm, I was moving towards the Well of the House to raise the issue of Delhi violence. That time the BJP MP hit me on my shoulder. Parliament is not secure for women Parliament members.”

However, Meena, claiming that the allegations were false, said, “As she opened the banner in Lok Sabha, it hit me on my head. I asked her to move ahead. I didn't hit or push her. If she says she is using 'Dalit' word, then I'm also a Dalit woman.”

Soon after the session in the Lok Sabha commenced at 2 pm on Monday, Opposition members started raising slogans from the Well against the government. The Lower House was adjourned three times till 4.30 pm as the ruckus continued.

The Opposition members went into the section of the treasury benches carrying a black banner, and demanded Shah's resignation, as the Speaker took up the listed business. Parliamentary Affairs minister Pralhad Joshi condemned their "unruly behaviour" and asked the Speaker to continue with normal business.

Joshi alleged that "these are the people" who have provoked the riots. "They murdered 3,000 people in 1984 (riots) and did no investigation. The priority is to restore peace... but they want to create tension," he said.

Seeking to restore normalcy in the House, Birla asked Opposition members who were in the Well to take their seats even as they continued to shout the slogan ‘We want justice’. They were also holding placards saying "Stop hate speech, save our India".

Things took a turn for worse as Congress' Gaurav Gogoi and Ravneet Singh Bittu took a black banner to the Treasury benches where BJP's Sanjay Jaiswal was speaking on 'Vivaad Se Vishwas' Bill. BJP members, including Ramesh Bidhuri and Nishikant Dubey, asked them to return to the Well.

The charge by the Congress members angered BJP members, including many from back benches, who rushed towards the Congress members. Members from both sides then began pushing and shoving each other following which the proceedings were adjourned till 3 pm by the Speaker.

Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Smriti Irani were seen trying to pacify the agitated members. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi were present in the House during the uproar.

When the House reassembled at 3 pm, some BJP members were seen blocking the way to their side of the Well. BJP's Rama Devi, who was in the Chair, adjourned the House again till 4 pm saying "whatever you have done is wrong".

But the ruckus continued when the House again met and it was adjourned till 4.30 pm by the Chair.

However, the slogan-shouting by the BJP members continued. They chanted slogans like "Desh ki raksha kaun karega, hum karenge hum karenge (Who will defend the nation, we will do it" and  "Mahatma Gandhi amar rahein, nakli Gandhi jail mein rahein (Long live Mahatama Gandhi, fake Gandhis stay in jail).

Some Opposition members placed a placard demanding Shah's resignation on the Speaker's table but it was swiftly removed by the staff.

Earlier, Birla asked leaders of Opposition parties to ensure that their members take their respective seats as the "people of the country are watching (the proceedings)".

"This is the temple of democracy. There are certain rules and tradition. You should not come to the Well," he said. Birla also said "as you are responsible representatives of people here, it is your collective responsibility to maintain peace and tranquility."

Amid the din, two bills — The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill and Mineral Laws Amendment Bill — were introduced. Also the Direct Tax Vivaad Se Vishwas Bill was moved for consideration and passing.

With inputs from agencies

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