Wednesday, June 16, 2021
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All in the name of democracy: After pepper spray; now netas strip, slap

democracyWho better than the elected representatives can put “sincere” efforts to make India live up to its promise of being a ‘land full of surprises’. Be it MPs or MLAs, all of them strive to improve our image, each passing day.

Even before the country could digest the utter senseless act by Andhra MP L Rajagopal, when he used the pepper spray to terrorize the Parliament into submission against the creation of Telangana, others of his ilk have raised the bar on what all is acceptable inside the hallowed precincts of Parliament and state assemblies, where people’s representatives gather to find solutions to the problems faced by the teeming millions.

After the Lok Sabha passed the Telangana Bill amid a controversial media blackout and slogan shouting, the ‘scene’ shifted to the Rajya Sabha today.

As expected, it was pandemonium from the word go. Things turned for the worse after Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP, CM Ramesh, snatched papers from Secretary General Shumsher K Sheriff’s and hit at the mike on his table.

Ramesh lost his cool when Deputy Chairman P J Kurien asked Sherrif to read the message from Lok Sabha, which obviously included a mention about passage of the Telangana Bill.

And, for the record – just for it – Rajya Sabha is the “House of Elders”.

While the drama in Parliament is far from over, matters were no better in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly today.

Here, PDP MLA Syed Bashir slapped an assembly security official at least thrice when the latter tried to force him out of the house on the orders of the Speaker. Bashir had tried to storm into the well of the house.

Bashir has been at the forefront of the Opposition’s attacks on the National conference government over the controversy surrounding the molestation charges against former health minister Shabir Khan.

But Bashir’s antics can’t hold a candle to the level of theatrics witnessed in the Uttar Pradesh assembly.

In Lucknow, two Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) MLAs chose to remove their kurtas inside the Assembly to protest against the anti-farmer policies of the Akhilesh Yadav government.

As soon as the proceedings of the joint house began at 11 am, BSP members climbed on their benches displaying banner and placards to highlight what they called the failure of the Samajwadi government and demanded dismissal of the government.

Not willing to be outsmarted, RLD MLAs – Veer Pal and Sudesh Sharma – took off their kurtas to treat the house with a good view of their naked torso; all for a cause of course – they were demanding payment of sugarcane dues.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohammad Azam Khan counter-attacked and said they were shameless people, who have no right as they have looted the people of the state.

Later, Khan, while talking to reporters, quipped that it would have been better if the MLAs had taken off their pyjamas as well.

The address by Governor B L Joshi could not be heard amid the din and lasted for barely three to four minutes after which he left.

It is not the first time that MPs and MLAs have resorted to theatrics, bordering hooligan, inside the house and let’s be assured that it would not be the last time.

From MLAs doing half-monty to a CM sleeping on the streets, it is all done in the name of democracy and the ‘Aam Aadmi’. And, they say democracy is maturing by the day.

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