The MPs of Opposition parties will hold a protest against the alleged manhandling of women members in Rajya Sabha in front of Mahatma Gandhi Statue at Parliament today.
Delhi | Opposition leaders march towards Vijay Chowk from Parliament demanding repeal of Centre’s three farm laws pic.twitter.com/y9E3U5PxES
— ANI (@ANI) August 12, 2021
Before the protest, the floor leaders of Opposition parties in both the Houses will hold a meeting in the Chamber of Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha at 10 am to discuss the incidents that happened in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Opposition members in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday slammed the government over the incidents in the House when a bill related to insurance businesses was taken up for passage with NCP leader Sharad Pawar alleging that “women MPs were attacked” and “more than 40 men and women were brought into the House from outside to control the MPs”.
Pawar termed the incidents as “painful” and an “attack on democracy” and said he has never seen such an incident in his 55 years of parliamentary life.
Several other opposition members including Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Derek O’ Brien also slammed the government.
“In my 55 years of parliamentary career, I never saw the way the women MPs were attacked today in Rajya Sabha. More than 40 men and women were brought into the house from outside to control the MPs. It is painful. It is an attack on democracy,” Pawar said.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi criticised the government alleging that the government talks of ‘Beti Padhao, Beti Padhao’ but attempts to crush the voice of women.
She alleged that MPs were manhandled.
“The way the Insurance Bill was passed was not right. We all were protesting because it is an anti-people bill. This will lead to privatisation. The way women MPs were manhandled and MPs were treated like goons, they were pushed and they were threatened to remain silent, is shameful. This is my first term. I was hoping to raise people’s voices in Parliament, but the Government made attempts to crush that too. On one hand, you say Beti Padhao, Beti Padhao and on the other hand, they make attempts to crush their voices,” Chaturvedi said.
Mallikarjun Kharge, who is the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said marshals were used and Opposition women members were “manhandled”.He said if women are not safe in the Parliament, it raises questions on the way this government functions.
“Today the government’s behaviour in the Rajya Sabha was inappropriate. It was decided that the bill will be discussed tomorrow and today we will focus on the OBC reservation Bill and pass Constitutional Amendment Bill. Unfortunately, they did not keep their promise and they moved the Insurance Bill today. All the Opposition parties protested because it will take away the jobs of many people and increase unemployment. Also, the money with the government’s insurance companies is going somewhere else and they are planning to divert that money,” Kharge said.
“When the MPs were protesting, marshals were used and our women members were physically manhandled. You can yourself take an idea that if the women are not safe in the Parliament, then how this government might be functioning,” he added.
Derek O’Brien accused the government of “bulldozing” 36 bills without any discussion or scrutiny.
“Sharad Pawarji has said that in his 55 years of experience as a Parliamentarian, both in Opposition and in government, he has never witnessed something like this. Today’s incident was shameful. Only one bill was discussed. It’s a shame,” he said.
The Opposition resorted to vociferous protests on Wednesday as the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 was taken up for consideration in the upper House after it passed a constitution amendment bill unanimously.
The bill was moved for consideration and passing by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Protesting opposition members came to the well of the House and some of them were seen tearing papers.
They accused the government of not following parliamentary norms and “bulldozing” the legislation. The Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill was taken up after the upper House unanimously passed the constitution amendment bill to enable states to prepare their own OBC lists.
The opposition has also been protesting and forcing adjournments on their other demands including a probe into allegations of surveillance through Pegasus spyware and repeal of new farm laws.
Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die on Wednesday, two days before the scheduled conclusion of the upper House of Parliament. Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die earlier in the day.