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New Delhi: A day after both Houses of Parliament adjourned sine die, two days ahead of the scheduled end of the monsoon session, opposition leaders on Thursday took out a protest march from Parliament to Vijay Chowk. During the march, Congress leaders alleged that they were not allowed to speak in Parliament.
At Vijay Chowk, Rahul Gandhi accused the government of “murdering democracy”. He said, “We raised the Pegasus issue, inflation, farmers issue, but were not allowed to speak in Parliament. Today, we had to come out here to speak to you as we are not allowed to speak in Parliament. This is murder of democracy.”
Gandhi also charged that MPs from the opposition were physically attacked in Parliament. Referring to the scenes that were witnessed in the Upper House on Wednesday, Gandhi said, “The Parliament session is over. As far as 60% of the country is concerned there has been no Parliament session. The voice of 60% of the country has been crushed, humiliated and yesterday in the Rajya Sabha physically beaten.”
Elaborating on the Rajya Sabha incident, in which a scuffle had broken out between opposition MPs and marshals and following which some women MPs had alleged that they were manhandled by male marshals, Gandhi said: “This is the first time that MPs have been attacked in Parliament. Outsiders were brought in who thrashed the MPs. Even then, they talk about the chairman’s tears. The chairman’s job is to make the House run.”
Supporting the charge, Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar said in the 55 years that he has seen Parliament, he has never seen women MPs being attacked in Rajya Sabha they way they were on Wednesday.
Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena too claimed that democracy was being murdered every day and said, “people from outside were brought into Parliament who wore marshal clothes and attacked women MPs.” Raut said to him it felt as if he was standing at the Pakistan border and not in Parliament.
A large number of Congress MPs also participated in the protest. Party MP Shashi Tharoor claimed that the Parliament proceedings did not run properly. He charged that the government passed laws without discussions and held that while there should have been discussions on COVID-19 vaccination, the current economic situation, unemployment and farm laws, the government was found “running away”.