Congress Rajya Sabha MPs Chhaya Verma and Phulo Devi Netam broke down on Wednesday while addressing the media on the ruckus that took place in the Parliament on August 11.
Netam said that female MPs were manhandled by male marshals, which was a disrespect to the women as she broke into tears during the media address.
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During a discussion on the issue of farmers in the House on August 11, Opposition members had climbed atop a table, and thrown an official file at the Chair. Some MPs were also seen squatting on the tables of the front-row seats, forcing multiple adjournments of the House.
A CCTV footage from the House showed opposition MPs raising slogans at the centre of the House and marshals, responsible for the security of the Parliament, trying to restrain them. Several opposition members could also be seen tearing papers and flinging them, while one of them climbed a table.
Both Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla expressed anguish Wednesday over the washout, with Naidu briefly breaking down in the House and calling the incident “sacrilege” and a new “low” for the country’s “temple of democracy”.
Naidu’s remarks provoked strong reactions from MPs, with the TMC’s Derek O’Brien noting that the two Houses had collectively passed 35 Bills in the Monsoon Session. The Rajya Sabha again dissolved into confusion at this time, with MPs trooping into the Well and shouting slogans.
Speaker Om Birla said he was disappointed by the “poor productivity” of the Lok Sabha. “I tried my best to run the House smoothly and give equal opportunity to all members but the House productivity was very poor… unlike the previous sessions of the 17th Lok Sabha,” he told reporters after the House was adjourned sine die. “I share the people’s pain in their issues not being discussed.”
The Lok Sabha functioned only 21 hours 14 minutes during the Monsoon Session against the stipulated time of 96 hours. “The productivity was just 22%,” the Speaker said. However, the House passed 20 Bills and introduced 13.
The only debate was over the amendment to restore states’ powers to decide their OBC lists, which was passed by both Houses. Other legislation were cleared without any discussion. In contrast, the Budget Session had seen Lok Sabha productivity at 114%, as per a PTI report.