"Nothing short of murder of democracy": Rahul Gandhi on manhandling Rajya Sabha members

Opposition leaders take out protest march against the Union government

August 12, 2021 12:05 pm | Updated 04:24 pm IST - New Delhi

Opposition party leaders meeting at Mallikarjun Kharge's room in the Parliament, on August 12, 2021.

Opposition party leaders meeting at Mallikarjun Kharge's room in the Parliament, on August 12, 2021.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi dubbed the passing of general insurance bill in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, as "nothing short of murder of democracy." Addressing the media along with Opposition leaders, Mr. Gandhi condemned the way the Bill was passed in a din.

The contentious General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 was passed amidst shocking scenes in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday despite the Opposition’s demand to send the legislation to a select committee. Marshalls, including women, had blocked the opposition members from entering the Well. Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi claimed male marshals had manhandled women MPs.

Top leaders of several opposition partiesmet in the chamber of Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday and then walked in protest from Parliament House to Vijay Chowk.

Those who attended the meeting included Mr. Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, RJD’s Manoj Jha, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva and other opposition leaders.

The protesting MPs carried placards and banners against the government that read 'Stop murder of democracy' and 'we demand Repeal of anti farmers laws'.

"The Parliament session is over. Frankly, as far as 60 per cent of country is concerned, there was no Parliament session as the voice of 60 per cent of people was crushed, humiliated," Mr. Gandhi told reporters.

He said the opposition was not allowed to speak inside Parliament and "this is nothing short of murder of democracy".

Endorsing what Mr. Gandhi said, Mr. Raut said, "I felt as if I was standing in the Pakistan border in the Rajya Sabha". He also quoted Sharad Pawar saying this has never happened in Mr. Pawar's 55 years of Parliamentary career.

RJD's Manoj Jha said: “We saw martial law yesterday in Rajya Sabha. The Insurance Bill was passed with marshals.”

The Opposition leaders are likely to call on Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi had termed as "totally false" the opposition's allegations that marshals manhandled their MPs and said one can check facts from CCTV footage.

(with inputs from PTI)

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