A war of Privilege Motions has broken out in Parliament, with BJP on Tuesday giving notice for such an action against Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, hitting back at the opposition party for a similar move against HRD Minister Smriti Irani.
In Lok Sabha, BJP's Chief Whip Arjun Ram Meghwal said he and many other members, including Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, had given a notice of breach of privilege against Scindia, the Chief Whip of Congress, for "misleading" the House on February 24.
Congress and Left have already given notice of Privilege Motion against Irani, accusing her of "misleading" the House over the suicide by Rohit Vemula, a Dalit student of Hyderabad University. Meghwal said Scindia had wrongly alleged that Dattatreya had called Vemula "anti-national, casteist and extremist".
The BJP leader raised the issue amid uproar created by AIADMK members who were demanding action against former Union Minister P Chidambaram's son Karti in the Aircel-Maxis issue.
At this, Congress members too rushed to the Well, demanding that Speaker Sumitra Mahajan should decide on their notice of Privilege Motion against Irani for "misleading" the House on Vemula issue.
Dattatreya accused Scindia of "defaming him and tarnishing" his image by attributing such comments to him that he never made about Vemula. "My mother used to sell onions. I have always worked for OBCs, Dalits... I have made sacrifices for Dalits," he said, recalling his humble background and work for the downtrodden.
He said his letter to Irani, over which he has been attacked by Congress, made no mention of Vemula's name. "I never made such charge against him."
Congress members continued to protest with K C Venugopal showing the rule book to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to which she shot back, saying "Don't show me the rule book. I know." She repeatedly tried to pacify the members saying all the notices for privilege motion are under her consideration. With AIADMK and Congress members continuing to protest, she adjourned the House.
In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad reminded that his Congress party had given notice of Privilege Motion against the HRD Minister and wanted to know its status. "She (Irani) has misled this House and the nation through the House. Not only here, she has misled the country in both the Houses. It is a very very serious charge," Azad said.
Earlier, Bhalchandra Mungekar (Cong) sought to know the fate of his notice for Privilege Motion against Irani given on Monday and insisted on action against the Minister. He raised the issue during Question Hour when his name was called for asking a supplementary question. Chairman Hamid Ansari asked Mungekar not to raise any other issue during Question Hour.
(All images sourced from PTI)