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Parliament was rocked today over reports that Shiv Sena MPs allegedly forced a fasting Muslim worker to eat in the new Maharashtra Sadan, but government dismissed the allegations as "unsubstantiated" and said they need to be verified first lest they raise communal passions.
The issue was raised in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by opposition members who demanded action against the Shiv Sena MPs who vociferously denied the reports.
After uproar by opposition, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha witnessed brief adjournments as agitated members wanted to raise the issue which was staunchly opposed by the Shiv Sena. The Lok Sabha also witnessed a walkout by the Congress, NCP, Left, PDP and AIMIM.
The Lok Sabha witnessed a storm as a BJP member Ramesh Biduri rushed to the well telling some in the opposition that "this is India. Those...go out".
The member later apologised after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu disapproved his conduct.
"We are dealing with a sensitive issue... Don't try to raise communal passions. Nobody knows the truth. Whether the incident has happened or not, we are not sure," Naidu said seeking to douse flared passions.
He said the the government is in no way connected with the "unsavoury" incident. "We need to enquire...Let us not send wrong signals to the country."
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Congress member M I Shanavas described the incident as "shocking" and said it is "cutting at the root 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 also quoted reported statements made by the concerned employee Arshad.
Defending the Shiv Sena MPs, Union Minister Anant Geete said "Those who want to respect the month of Ramzan should not make false statement in the House" triggering sharp protests from the Opposition.
"Whatever the report has appeared is totally false and Congress is trying to tarnish the image of the Narendra Modi government," Geete said.
In the Rajya Sabha, 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."