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Wednesday 29 January 2020

INC MPs approach Irani menacingly in Lok Sabha

While Smriti Irani and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury were debating cases of crimes against women, INC MPs Kuriakose and Prathapan walked towards her, folding the sleeves of their kurtas, the BJP MP alleged

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi has demanded of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla that he suspend INC MPs Dean Kuriakose and TN Prathapan who today approached Union Minister Smriti Irani in the House. According to sources, the parliamentary affairs minister has given a notice to the speaker against the two MPs under Rule 374.

Joshi has demanded that the INC MPs apologise to Irani unconditionally on Monday, failing which they be suspended for five days under Rule 374. The parliamentary affairs minister will read Rule 374 in the House and the speaker will name both the MPs, after which Joshi will demand suspension of both the MPs for five days.

When Irani was speaking on the incidents of rape in the Lok Sabha on Friday, INC MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury interjected and a debate ensued during which the two INC MPs moved towards Irani. TMC MP Saugata Roy stopped both MPs. Irani alleged that Kuriakose and Prathapan were folding the sleeves of their kurtas while approaching her.

According to Irani, one of the INC MPs had questioned her right to speak in Parliament! The Union minister said she was surprised. “I would like to see in Parliament on Monday how the opposition punishes me for speaking about women,” she said.

BJP MP Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said when Irani was speaking, the INC MPs moved towards the woman minister.

Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said he condemned the aggression of the INC MPs. “They should apologise,” he said.

The BJP has got the support of other parties on this issue. AAP MP Bhagwant Mann said, “We are treating women like this in Parliament? I condemn this incident.” Mann said if the INC had taken action earlier when the MPs had misbehaved with the marshalls, they probably would not behave like this today. He said if the lawmaker broke the law, he wondered who should be trusted.

Berhampore MP of the INC Chowdhury has apologised to Irani on behalf of his party’s MPs.

Amid this uproar, the proceedings of the Lok Sabha were postponed till Monday.

Earlier, Irani attacked Adhir Ranjan. She said it was wrong to associate the subject of female honour with communalism. “I have not seen such an audacity before,” Irani said, expressing dismay at the fact that “rape was used as a political weapon in the panchayat election in Bengal”.

“Today an MP from Bengal was taking the name of a temple here. People who used rape as a political weapon are giving speeches today,” Irani said.

Referring to Chowdhury, Irani said he named the incidents of Telangana and Unnao but forgot Malda. This was when the commotion in Parliament began. Ignoring the noise made by INC MPs, Irani said what had happened in Unnao and Telangana was shameful and the culprits should be hanged. She added there should be no politics on this.

Irani was referring to Chowdhury’s act of raising the issue of crimes against women in the Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour where the INC MP from Berhampore had said that, on one hand, Ram temple was being built and, on the other, Mother Sita was being burnt. Chowdhury was referring to the case of burning a gang-rape victim in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh. He said that the victim of Unnao had sustained 95% burns. “What is happening in this country?” he had exclaimed.

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