The Rajya Sabha witnessed some heated moments on Thursday when Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Shantanu Sen snatched and tore the papers IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was reading from while making a statement on Pegasus spying row. The Rajya Sabha was later adjourned till tomorrow.
The incident took place as Vaishnaw rose to give a statement on the Pegasus snooping controversy. Sen snatched the statement paper and threw it towards the Deputy Chairman. Vaishnaw, was forced to cut short his statement.
Heated words were exchanged between Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Sen after the incident. A verbal feud ensued between the leaders of the two parties. Marshals intervened to bring the situation under control.
A consortium of international websites this week revealed that more than 50,000 phone numbers were targeted by spyware, Pegasus, created by NSO Group, an Israeli software company. The list included 300 verified phone numbers in India, including those of ministers, opposition leaders, journalists and activists.
"He was making a statement, you had a right to question him after that but instead of going in for a debate, is this the type of hooliganism we see inside the House? This is completely against all norms, I think it should be condemned outright," BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta said, as per ANI.
The opposition MPs were seen raising slogans and holding placards to protest against the government. This was the third adjournment in the upper house.
"The attitude of the minister was unfortunate. The way the IT Minister made a statement amidst the uproar in the Rajya Sabha, it seems that the government only wanted to make a mockery of this issue," RJD MP Manoj Jha said.
The Lok Sabha, too, was forced to adjourn for the third time till Friday. Leaders from the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal questioned the government on the contentious farm laws. The Question Hour in the lower house barely lasted for 12 minutes.