Ruckus in both Houses over report on force-feeding of fasting Muslim by Sena MPs

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 23, 2014

A view of the Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi. Photo: Monica Tiwari   -  The Hindu

Nobody knows facts of the incident, says Venkaiah Naidu

Opposition protests broke out in both Houses on Wednesday over a report published in a national daily alleging that 11 Shiv Sena MPs had force-fed a chapaati to a catering supervisor who was observing Roza (fast), as they were upset by the food arrangements at Delhi’s Maharashtra Sadan.

The supervisor, Arshad, is an employee of IRCTC, which has the catering contract in the Sadan, according to the report.

In the Lok Sabha, members from the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Trinamool Congress, CPI(M), Aam Aadmi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, People’s Democratic Party and AIMIM rose in protest, demanding a discussion on the issue. “It is a sensitive issue and sentiments have been hurt” said Congress leader in the House, Mallikarjun Kharge.

But, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu insisted that “nobody knows the facts of the said incident.”

In the Rajya Sabha, too, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Prakash Javadekar, said “It is an unsubstantiated report. We should not take it to the next level. Let it be ascertained. There are sensitivities involved.”

In Lok Sabha, to pacify the Opposition, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, said she would only allow the issue to be raised after Question Hour.

As soon Zero Hour began, Congress MP from Kerala, Shanavas, termed the incident as “shocking” and said it “cut at the roots of secularism. MPs who should be role models have become bad models...The faith of minorities has been tarnished. The House should condemn it.” He was constantly interjected by Shiv Sena MPs.

Later, when Shiv Sena’s Anant Geete stood up to defend his MPs and said "False statements should not be made in the House", all Opposition members, such as Jyotiraditya Scindia (Congress), Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM) and Pappu Yadav (RJD) stood on their feet to protest against the use of "uparliamentary" words.

While the protest was going on, BJP MP from South Delhi, Ramesh Bidhuri, was running towards the well, flexing his muscles at some Opposition MPs and shouting “This is India…….. Go Back to…...” He was prevented from going any further by his some party colleagues, such as Kirit Somaiya, but by then there was a huge uproar, leading to a brief adjournment.

Later, some BJP MPs were seen congratulating Bidhuri, while Health Minister Harsh Vardhan was seen asking him to restrain himself.

When the House re-assembled, Venkaiah Naidu disapproved of Bidhuri’s conduct. He said it was a sensitive incident, though not verified as yet. “But I do not approve of the conduct of one of my members.” Bidhuri later apologised to the House, but Kharge insisted that the matter be referred to the Ethics Committee of Parliament. Incidentally, some television channels aired the footage of the said incident all day, purportedly showing a Shiv Sena MP forcing food down a man’s throat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the Lok Sabha when the matter was raised, but left later, while Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah was not present in the House.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on July 23, 2014
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor