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'Selective Videos Published to Build Narrative': Oppn MPs on Rajya Sabha Ruckus

Amid the blame game over Rajya Sabha ruckus, Opposition MPs said the govt was trying to pass bills without debate.

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As the government and the Opposition leaders blamed one another for the ruckus in Rajya Sabha, leading to the monsoon session being cut short, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi and RJD MP Manoj Jha, from the Opposition camp, said "selective footage of the ruckus were put up to build a narrative".

The government on Thursday, 12 August, said that the Opposition must apologise to the nation as several Union Ministers addressed a press conference a short while after visuals of the ruckus in Rajya Sabha emerged on Wednesday. The visuals showed members of the Opposition jostling with marshals in the Upper House.

Both Chaturvedi and Jha said, "The government from the beginning was trying to pass important bills by force, without any discussion or debate. That's not how a democracy works."

"If people are watching the videos of the desperation by the Opposition MPs, they should also see the videos of how much the opposition was trying to protest about passing bills arbitrarily."
Manoj Jha, RJD MP

On Thursday, several members of the Opposition had reacted sharply to, what they claimed was, manhandling of their members. They issued a statement, saying that "outsiders, who were not part of Parliament security, were brought in to manhandle Opposition leaders and members, including women MPs who were only protesting the government's conduct, highhandedness and muzzling of their voice."

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Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday, 11 August, broke down in the House as he addressed the session and expressed "deep anguish" over the ruckus created by MPs on Tuesday, 10 August, over a discussion on farm laws.

"I am distressed by the way the sacredness was destroyed yesterday (Tuesday) when some members sat on the table, some members climbed on the table of the House, perhaps to be more visible, which is an act of sacrilege. I have no words to convey my anguish and to condemn such acts," he said.

Chaturvedi said, "While the Chairman is well within his rights to show anguish, but in the spirit of India's parliamentary democracy, this needs to be discussed thoroughly. If democracy gives responsibilities to the government, it also gives responsibilities to the Opposition to hold the government accountable."

The Ministry of the Parliamentary Affairs on Thursday said that altogether 22 Bills were passed in the Monsoon Session of Parliament, which was adjourned sine die on Wednesday.

This Session provided 17 sittings spread over a period of 24 days, though, it was originally scheduled to have 19 sittings from 19 July to 13 August. It was curtailed due to continuous disruptions in both the Houses of the Parliament.

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