NEW DELHI: Launching a major offensive on the government over the issue of ruckus in Rajya Sabha on the last day of the monsoon session, Leader of Opposition in the house Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday alleged that women marshals were used to “blame and frame” the Opposition MPs.
In an interview with PTI, Kharge said he hoped Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu would be impartial while deciding on the matter as putting the blame on one party would be unfair.
The Congress veteran also said the BJP is now showing its true colours after getting a majority in both the houses and wanted to run Parliament with autocracy while bulldozing the bills.
“The government used women marshals to blame the opposition and to frame them if something happened, in order to put them (MPs) on the wrong side,” Kharge told PTI.
“Their attitude was to tarnish the image of the opposition,” he alleged.
The Congress MP said the government created a “fort” in Rajya Sabha on August 11 and used force for the passage of the Insurance amendment bill, as they want to hand over state-run insurance companies to their businessmen friends.
Asked what he thinks of the government’s demands for exemplary action against unruly opposition MPs, Kharge said “We will see when the action comes. Our members have also suffered injuries. We expect the chairman to be impartial.”
The senior Congress leader said the government “wants to blame the opposition and there cannot be an impartial view if one opposition party is blamed like this.”
Squarely blaming the NDA government for the washout of the recent monsoon session, Kharge said it was due to the Opposition’s cooperation that Parliament saw higher productivity in the previous sessions.
“Parliament’s productivity was much lower during the Congress-led UPA time when BJP was in opposition,” Kharge said.
He said while the productivity of Parliament under BJP rule is 90 per cent, it was only around 65 per cent during the UPA time when the BJP was in the opposition.
On the unruly events of August 11, Kharge said after adjourning the upper house briefly following the passage of the OBC bill, the government immediately mobilised 40-50 marshals including women marshals.
“They created a fort inside the house. The Chair normally calls marshals when there is disturbance and violence but here they did so even before the insurance bill was taken up and used them for the introduction, discussion and passage of the bill,” the Congress leader said.
He alleged that the government used force to push the legislative agenda.
“The government deployed women marshals ahead of male marshals so that even if anyone, by mistake, touched female security personnel, they could blame and frame the opposition MPs,” he said.
“It is clear that the government is not running the house democratically. They want to be autocratic and bulldoze their agenda because they have the majority in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.
They did not behave like this when the opposition had higher numbers in the upper house,” Kharge said, accusing the government of using “muscle power”.
“After getting more numbers in Parliament, the government is now showing its true colours and is trying to put the blame on us,” Kharge said.