Trinamool MP snatches Minister’s statement in Rajya Sabha, tears it

A collage of TMC MP Santanu Sen and India's Rajya Sabha.
Twitter Handle AITC in Parliamnet

Amid the ongoing tiff over the Pegasus issue between the Centre and Opposition, Trinamool Congress MP Santanu Sen on Thursday snatched the statement from Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in Rajya Sabha and tore it into pieces, reports Indian news agency ANI.

Following this, there was a verbal feud between BJP and TMC MPs. Marshals intervened to bring the situation under control.

Heated words were exchanged between Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and TMC MP Santanu Sen after the latter snatched a paper from IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw while he was speaking on ‘Pegasus Project’ report in Rajya Sabha.

Speaking to ANI, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta said, “It seems that some people of Opposition, notably some of the TMC MPs, got up and took the paper from the hands of the IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw while he was speaking on ‘Pegasus’ and tore it up. This is completely unseemly behaviour.”

“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,” added Dasgupta.

Vaishnaw was reading the governmnet’s statement on the Pegasus issue in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

“When they can kill their opponents in Bengal & misbehave with women, they can do anything. Today they snatched paper & tore it, it won’t be a surprise if they tear clothes tomorrow. I condemn it,” said Mahesh Poddar, BJP MP.

However, TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy evaded a question on the same outside parliament.

Earlier on Thursday, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that the government is trying to scuttle down the issue.

“We have been demanding for discussion on Pegasus issue. But the government is only giving a statement. One can only ask for clarification if a statement is given and not all members will be able to speak. The government is doing the same. It is an attempt to scuttle down and save themselves. They are not allowing other members to speak,” Kharge told ANI.

The Opposition has alleged that names of several Indian politicians, journalists, lawyers, and activists have appeared on the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware. This comes following reports published in The Wire.