A day after marshals were deployed in the Rajya Sabha during the passage of the insurance amendment bill, a united opposition on Thursday questioned the excessive use of security personnel in the House describing it as a “murder of democracy”.
Leaders of 15 opposition parties, including Congress’s Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, SP’s Ram Gopal Yadav, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, CPM’s Elamaram Kareem, CPI’s Binoy Viswam, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva among others will shortly meet Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to lodge a protest.
After a meeting in the chamber of leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday all opposition members marched to Vijay Chowk where they accused the government of muzzling the opposition voice in Parliament.
“The parliament session is over, and frankly, as far as 60 per cent of the country is concerned, no parliament session was held because their voice was crushed, humiliated and yesterday in Rajya Sabha it was physically beaten. This is nothing short of murder of democracy,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said.
Gandhi said the opposition raised the issue of Pegasus and sought a debate on it but the government refused.
“We raised farmers’ issue outside Parliament because we were not allowed to speak inside. We raised the price rise issue outside because we were not allowed to speak inside. We are not allowed to speak in Parliament. Therefore, we are before you today. What happened in Parliament is nothing short of a murder of democracy,” said Gandhi.
NCP leader Praful Patel quoted his party chief Pawar as saying that he had never seen in 55 years of his political life the visuals seen in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut alleged the government imposed “martial law” in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
“Opposition has not had the time to say what it wanted. Our voice was not allowed to reach you. We saw democracy being murdered in the Rajya Sabha yesterday. Private people dressed as marshals tried to assault women MPs. ‘Martial law’ was imposed and I felt like I was standing on the Pakistan border,” said Raut.
All leaders targeted the government saying they would take the battle to the streets.
Tiruchi Siva said he had never witnessed what he experienced in the Rajya Sabha yesterday.
“Government didn’t consider any of our issues. GIC amendment bill was rushed. RSTV blacked us out,” he said.
Kareem said security used in the Rajya Sabha yesterday were goons and not marshals.
“RSTV is not showing what we are asking. Yesterday, they behaved like goondas. They were not marshals, they were goondas. They manhandled our women MPs. We will take this matter to the people,” he said.
RSP’s NK Premchandran said the responsibility of washout of Parliament lies with the government.
Rahul Gandhi later alleged that the PM was “selling the soul of India to a few industrialists”.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Leader of Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal and deputy leader MA Naqvi met M Venkaiah Naidu ahead of the opposition meet with the chairman, as daggers are drawn over yesterday’s events in the Rajya Sabha.