New Delhi: Gujarat government on Wednesday came under sharp attack in the Lok Sabha from non-NDA parties when a Congress member from the state claimed she was manhandled by police, putting the BJP on backfoot.
Members of the Left parties, SP, BSP, Trinamool Congress, AIADMK and RJD got together and said swift action was necessary.
Some members said it should be referred to the Privileges Committee and stern action should be taken against the guilty.
Girija Vyas (Cong) raised the issue on behalf of party colleague Prabha Kishore Taviad and said the latter was not allowed by the police to attend the Gujarat Divas celebrations at Dahod.
She claimed that Taviad and some Congress MLAs were manhandled by the police and taken 300-400 kms away in a police vehicle on Tuesday. Taviad, according to Vyas, was provided medical help only at 8 pm and later allowed to board a train for Delhi.
As a visibly upset Taviad showed bruises on her arms, Vyas claimed that she was pulled by her hair and manhandled. This prompted Congress members to shout `shame, shame` as their BJP counterparts remained silent.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said since the issue was serious, she would talk to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and get back to the House.
Amid slogan shouting by Congress members, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal suggested that the matter be referred to the Privileges Committee of the House.
PC Chacko, who was in the Chair, said the Speaker has already received a privilege notice from Taviad and the matter should be left at her discretion. Chacko is the chairman of the Lok Sabha Privileges Committee.
Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI), Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M), Vijay Bahadur Singh (BSP), Rewati Raman Singh (SP), Lalu Prasad (RJD), M Thambidurai (AIADMK) and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar (Trinamool) termed the matter as serious and demanded swift action against the guilty.
Dasgupta said referring the matter to the Privileges Committee will only delay a decision.
"This is not a matter between Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Minister. It is total violation of fundamental rights of an MP. The Centre must ask the state government to explain and then inform the House," the CPI leader said.
Chacko said several complaints relating to the privilege of MPs have been received by the Speaker. "Wait for the Speaker`s decision," he said.