Rajya Sabha Pegasus ruckus: TMC traces up Opp MPs in defence of suspended Shantanu Sen

AT LEAST a dozen non-TMC Opposition MPs within the Rajya Sabha are stated to have supplied to depose towards Union Minister Hardeep Puri in defence of TMC MP Shantanu Sen who was suspended from the House for tearing up Union Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw’s assertion on the Pegasus challenge.

On that day, July 22, there was a heated trade between Sen and Puri after which the TMC MP alleged that he was summoned by the Union Minister in a “bad manner”.

Amid the commotion, quickly after Sen tore Vaishnaw’s assertion, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was presiding over the House, stated: “Yeh asansadiya parampara kripya hum log na karein…yeh kaunsi loktantrik prakriya hai (Let us not indulge in such unparliamentary traditions, please… what democratic process is this)?”

The subsequent day, after Sen was suspended, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu described the ruckus as a “clear assault on our Parliamentary democracy”.

In a criticism to the House Chairman, TMC chief whip Sukhendu Sekhar Roy is learnt to have listed the names of the Opposition MPs, from TMC’s arch-rival CPI(M) to the Shiv Sena and senior Congress leaders akin to P Chidambaram, who’re “ready to depose” as “eye-witnesses” towards Puri.

Apart from TMC MPs, they embody CPI(M)’s Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi, Akali Dal’s Balwinder Singh Bhunder, SP’s Ram Gopal Yadav, RJD’s Manoj Jha, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva and a number of other Congress MPs, together with Digvijaya Singh and Shaktisinh Gohil aside from Chidambaram, sources conscious of the criticism advised The Indian Express.

In the criticism, the TMC chief whip has alleged “abuses” and “heckling” by the Union Minister, and sought a “thorough probe into the rowdyism”.

“These names were communicated to the Rajya Sabha Chairman after the MPs were asked whether they witnessed the events and were ready to vouch for the sequence,” sources stated.

On July 23, Naidu had stated: “…unfortunately, the proceedings of the House hit a new low with the papers being snatched from the Minister and torn into pieces and thrown into the air. Such actions are a clear assault on our parliamentary democracy. They do not cover the world’s largest democracy with glory.”

According to sources, the TMC believes that the inclusion of senior MPs from different events will add weight to its allegations. Besides, they stated, the names of flooring leaders of the SP and DMK on the listing signifies that the TMC has entry to and wields sway throughout the Opposition spectrum.