Centre to Move Suspension Motion Against TMC MP Who Snatched Papers from IT Minister
Manjil Das, INN/Chennai
In the Rajya Sabha, the Centre, in its “intimidating” behaviour towards another Member of Parliament, would submit a motion of suspension against TMC MP Santanu Sen demanding his immediate house suspension. The Upper House received a massive uproar on Thursday, as the minister was on the verge of making a speech about an alleged snoop row employing Israeli spyware called Pegasus, when Sen seized documents from Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw.
Parliamentary Minister of State V Muraleedharan is going to propose the motion on Friday. Under Rule 256 of the Norms of Procedure and Business in the Council of States, a member may, by constantly and voluntarily blocking business, be suspended for ignoring the Chair’s authority or for abusing the Council’s rules of conduct.
The Chair would accept the call. The Chair may opt to suspend the MP for a day, a week and/or the rest of the session depending on the gravity of the violation.
As Vaishnaw had been called upon, the TMC, Congress and the other members of the opposition party who had previously pushed to postpone the proceedings in Rajya Sabha, rushed into the well of the House. Sen grabbed the documents, tore them and hurled them in the air from the hands of the minister. This prevented the Minister from making the declaration in his steps and he stated that he had placed a copy on the House table.
Deputy President Harivansh requested the MPs to withdraw from the unparliamentary conduct before the House was adjourned for one day. The report that all the MPs want to hear is now put on the table and may be addressed. “Please do not follow this non-parliamentary behaviour,” urged Harivansh.
He stated that the Minister had put the statement on the House table and asked whether the MPs wanted to ask questions. But slogans against the supposed spying scandal have continually been raised by opposition members.
The deputy chairman asked for reports of the parliamentary commission to be drawn up at the planned hour in the morning because of opposition demonstrations. He postponed the proceedings for the day shortly after that.
The declaration made on the table by the Minister was similar to the one he made on 19 July, the day after allegations were issued of journalists, political rivals, and government opponents being targeted by monitoring using Pegasus spyware by the Israeli business NSO Group. Vaishnaw, whose telephone number was one of many that the Washington Post compromised, described the findings as “a blow to Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.”
Last year, during the monsoon, during the adoption of farm bills, several MPs, including Trinamool MPs Congress Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen, saw tearing papers standing in front of the chair, following which the chair hung 8 MPs from various parties, in order to try to hurt the chair and break the microphone and snap the papers out.