New Delhi, July 22, 2021: The Centre is planning to bring a privilege motion against Trinamool Congress MPs who allegedly misbehaved with Union IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw while he was reading out a statement on Pegasus spyware snooping issue on Thursday, news agency ANI reported citing people familiar with the developments.
Trinamool Congress MP Santanu Sen snatched Union IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s statement on the alleged targeting by Israeli spyware Pegasus of politicians, journalists, and constitutional authorities in the Rajya Sabha earlier today.
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Trinamool Congress MP Santanu Sen also engaged in a heated argument in Rajya Sabha after the incident. The altercation did not end afterwards but it only exacerbated after the House was adjourned owing to heated arguments between members of the Bharatiya Janata Party as well as the Trinamool Congress. According to news agency ANI, marshals in the Parliament had to intervene to stop the argument between both sets of lawmakers.
The proceedings in the Parliament were disrupted several times on Thursday during the ongoing monsoon session over the Pegasus spyware issue. The Opposition parties have also sought to target the government over the deaths of Indians during the second wave and also over the three farm laws which farmer leaders as well as the Opposition wants scrapped.
After the altercation with Sen, Vaishnaw along with Parliamentary Affairs minister Pralhad Joshi, leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal, ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and V Murleedharan held a meeting to discuss the incident which happened in the Parliament.
Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi criticised the actions of Shantanu Sen and accused the TMC of stooping to new lows. “The Opposition, especially members of the TMC and the Congress, will stoop so low that they will do things which damage the country’s reputation. One of the members in the House snatched papers from a minister who was making a statement,” Lekhi said.
“Such kind of behaviour is something which was never seen in a democracy. We have earlier seen how they conducted themselves when the Prime Minister was addressing and introducing new ministers in the Parliament,” Lekhi further added in reference to the opening day of the monsoon session of the Parliament where Opposition leaders had protested against the government when PM Modi was trying to introduce new members of his Cabinet.