‘Oppn threatened us not to pass more bills’

New Delhi, Aug 12 (PTI): A day after unruly scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha, the government on Thursday said the opposition must apologise for its “disruptive behaviour” in the upper house, and accused it of threatening Union ministers not to bring more legislations after passage of the Constitution amendment bill.
The tumultuous Monsoon session of Parliament was curtailed by two days on Wednesday, after opposition MPs jostled with marshals in the well of the house when they were trying to move towards the chair and the treasury benches.
Countering the opposition’s allegations that its MPs were manhandled by the security staff which was brought from outside, the government fielded as many as seven Union ministers and said it was the other way around.
“A lady marshal was manhandled by opposition MPs. Opposition’s behaviour in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday was a new low for parliamentary democracy… Opposition’s approach of my way or highway is highly condemnable,” Union minister Piyush Goyal said.
He was accompanied by Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Education Minister Harsh Vardhan, Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur and both ministers of state of parliamentary affairs.
Rejecting the opposition’s allegations that people were brought from outside the Parliament, Goyal, who is also leader of the house, said there were 30 marshals in the Rajya Sabha at the time of ruckus, 18 men and 12 women.
“No one from outside was brought in,” he said, adding he and the group of ministers met Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the House and made an earnest appeal that the strongest possible action should be taken against the opposition MPs for their deplorable behaviour and manhandling marshals.
Echoing similar sentiments, Joshi said a strongest action is must against those who broke the rules.
It was predecided by the Congress and its friendly allies that Parliament should not be allowed to function in the monsoon session, Joshi alleged.
Talking about ruckus in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, he said, “Yesterday morning, we were literally threatened that if you dared to pass more bills after passage of the OBC bill there will be more damage.”
Referring to an incident when an opposition leader was seen above a table inside the upper house, Thakur said the secretary general’s table in Rajya Sabha is not meant for dancing and protesting.
He alleged that “anarchy from streets to Parliament” was the Opposition’s only agenda during the monsoon session.
He demanded that the Opposition must apologise to the nation for its disruptive behaviour during the monsoon session.
Earlier in the day, a group of union ministers, including Joshi, Goyal and Naqvi, called on Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu at his official residence here.
Separately, a group of opposition leaders also met Naidu and complained against the alleged heckling of MPs including some women.
The ministers, on the other hand, are believed to have complained against the alleged unruly behaviour of some opposition members in the House on Wednesday.
Leaders of several opposition parties on Thursday marched in protest against the government on several issues, including Pegasus, farm laws, and alleged manhandling of their MPs in Rajya Sabha, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi saying the voice of people was crushed in Parliament and democracy was “murdered”.
Top leaders of several opposition parties met in the chamber of Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and then walked in protest from Parliament House to Vijay Chowk.
Those who attended the meeting included Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Kharge, Sanjay Raut, Tiruchi Siva, Manoj Jha and other opposition leaders.

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