New Delhi: As an emotionally surcharged discussion on the burning of Unnao rape victim turned into a political row leading to an aggressive face-off between Union minister Smriti Irani and two Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha on Friday, leading to the adjournment of the House without doing much business.
The BJP, which had earlier sought their unconditional apology, gave a notice to Speaker Om Birla seeking the suspension of the two Opposition lawmakers.
The BJP is learnt to have complained that the two Congress members should be suspended for their alleged unruly behaviour against Irani in the Lower House.
The notice to move a motion to suspend the Congress MPs for the remaining period of the Winter Session was given by parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi.
The motion will be pressed if the two members — T.N. Prathapan and Dean Kuriakose — do not tender an unconditional apology to the minister in the House.
Earlier, during a heated debate in the Lok Sabha on the burning of a rape victim in Unnao, the two MPs left their seats and entered the aisle near the Well, when Irani was speaking, displaying allegedly “threatening positions”.
Temperature rose in treasury benches when Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury took a jibe at the BJP during Zero Hour, saying “Sita is being burnt everywhere” — a reference to the Unnao case — while plans are afoot to build a Ram temple in UP.
Later, Irani also attacked the Trinamul whose member Saugata Roy had spoken before her for not referring to a similar case in Malda in West Bengal.
“Yes, setting afire a woman is condemnable, a heinous crime. Yes, the rape and killing of a woman is inhuman, but do not politicise the issue. No one has ever communalised the issue in this House,” she said.
She also alleged during the “West Bengal panchayat elections... rape was used as a political weapon”.
As she continued with her aggressive attack on the Opposition, T.N. Prathapan and Dean Kuriakose of the Congress left their seats and entered the aisle near the Well. They were heard shouting as they charged towards the treasury benches. Prathapan was seen rolling up his sleeve and both members were pulled back by their colleagues.
An angry Irani told the Congress members not to shout at her. An uproar broke out in the House and Union minister Prakash Javadekar sought an apology from the Congress members, saying that the treasury benches condemned their act. MoS parliamentary affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said Irani was speaking on behalf of the government and she was interrupted. Pointing to Irani, Gaurav Gogoi of the Congress said she was the one who had made political comments and triggered the row.
“We were only seeking an explanation as to what the government was doing,” he said, adding that Irani made an attacking speech.
Soon after this, Speaker said that it was not proper to make political comments. Later, when the House met again after the lunch break, the government sought an apology from the two Congress MPs, who were not present....