Clashes in Lok Sabha: Congress says government not allowing debate, alleges assault on dalit woman MP
Congress MPs, including former party chief Rahul Gandhi, also held a protest inside the Parliament complex over the issue of riots and demanded Home Minister Amit Shah's resignation.
NEW DELHI: The Congress on Monday accused the government of not allowing a debate in Parliament on the issue of communal violence in Delhi, and alleged that one of its Dalit woman MPs was assaulted by a BJP lawmaker in Lok Sabha.
On the first day of the second part of the budget session, Congress MPs, including former party chief Rahul Gandhi, also held a protest inside the Parliament complex over the issue of riots and demanded Home Minister Amit Shah's resignation.
Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha saw vehement protests by Opposition parties over the Delhi riots and both Houses were adjourned due to a massive uproar over the issue.
In Lok Sabha, BJP and Congress members pushed and shoved each other as opposition parties protested over the riots issue.
Congress MP Ramya Haridas also lodged a complaint with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla that she was assaulted by BJP woman MP Jaskaur Meena inside the Lower House and sought immediate action over the matter.
However, Union Minister Smriti Irani alleged that it was the Congress MPs in Lok Sabha who misbehaved with BJP women members, who have also complained to the Speaker against some opposition party lawmakers.
Sources said the Congress will not relent and continue to protest in Parliament and corner the government over the issue of communal violence in Delhi till a debate is allowed, sources said.
Earlier in the day, Congress MPs held a demonstration in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue in the Parliament premises and raised slogans.
The Congress MPs held placards reading 'Save Our India', 'Prime Minister Must Answer' and 'Shah Must Resign'.
"When Delhi was burning, our home minister was playing the host in Ahmedabad. Playing a host is fine, but when Indians were being killed, that should have been the priority," Congress' leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said referring to the 'Namaste Trump' programme in which Shah had participated.
"There should be an investigation into the violence. The prime minister speaks after three days, the home minister does not say anything, Ajit Doval is sent to look into it, this is their failure," he told reporters outside Parliament.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) and AAP MPs also staged separate dharnas on Monday near the Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex, demanding answers from the government on the Delhi riots.
Covering their eyes with black bands and holding a finger on their lips in an apparent imitation of the Gandhi's 'Three Monkeys', TMC MPs like Mohua Mitra and Sukhendu Shekhar Rai protested.
Another protest at the Gandhi statue by four AAP MPs -- Sanjay Singh, Bhagwant Mann, N D Gupta and Sushil Gupta -- saw slogans of "BJP murdabad" being raised.
Leaders from the opposition party had given adjournment notices in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, demanding a debate over the violence in Delhi which has claimed at least 42 lives.
Speaking to reporters after Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day, Chowdhury said that the party demanded that the violence in Delhi should be discussed in the Lok Sabha as it was a very important issue and the world was talking about it.
The party demanded that there should be a debate on the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah participating as all Indians want it to happen, Chowdhury said.
"The government should put forward its views on the issue of violence. We were trying to make this request, but the government did not allow us to do so and kept making one excuse after another," he claimed.
"What is surprising is that when Delhi was burning, the ruling party thought that 'Vivaad Se Vishwas' Bill should be brought. Without asking us, the bill started being discussed," the Congress leader alleged.
Chowdhury said "democracy was torn to shreds" as the Opposition party was not allowed to air its views.
"The sad part is that a Dalit MP of our party from Kerala was assaulted by ruling party MP. She also started crying and said 'if this happens inside the House to Dalits what will happen outside'," he said.
"Our protest will continue. It is our duty to uncover who makes hate speeches, who indulges in killings and what is the conspiracy behind the violence," Chowdhury said.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that for three days riots continued unabated, but Union ministers did not make any statement and did not visit the riot-affected areas.
"Because of that the police also did not act," he said.
"The central government wanted that those who are dying, let them die and those who are being burnt alive, let it happen. Hate speeches were given by leaders of the ruling party which meant that the central government was behind the riots," he alleged.
All business in Parliament should be adjourned to discuss the issue of Delhi violence, Azad said.
The second day is also likely to be a stormy one with both the Treasury and Opposition benches at loggerheads over the issue of Delhi riots.