Incensed over reports that Shiv Sena MPs allegedly forced a worker to break his Ramzan fast in the Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi last week, several opposition parties on Wednesday wrote to Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan and demanded an inquiry into the incident.
The demand came at a time when the incident, which allegedly took place last week, triggered a political storm in Maharashtra, with former Union minister and Congress leader Milind Deora describing the incident as “unpardonable” and Samajwadi Party’s Maharashtra president, Abu Azmi, calling the Shiv Sena MPs involved in the incident as “uncultured”.
In their letter to Mahajan, the parties wrote: “We would request you to uphold the dignity of the House by ordering an inquiry and also direct the government for an immediate inquiry and appropriate action so that such wanton behaviour is no longer repeated.” Congress leader KC Venugopal said the letter had been sent to the Speaker.
A source said that besides the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, NCP leader Tariq Anwar, Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav (RJD), P Karunakaran (CPI-M), NK Premachandran (RSP), ET Muhammad Basheer (IUML) and Jose K Mani (Kerala Congress-M) are signatories to the letter.
The opposition MPs, in the letter, said they attempted to raise the issue in the House as “it brings indignity” to the position of parliamentarians and the House itself. “The government was sadly defending the act by being silent and ignoring our requests for discussing this issue. We are of the opinion that the reply given by the Speaker is insufficient considering the severity of the issue.”
Earlier in the day, the government dismissed the allegations as “unsubstantiated” and said they need to be verified first lest they raise communal passions. The issue was raised in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, but Shiv Sena MPs vociferously denied the reports. Even senior BJP leader L K Advani disapproved of the alleged action of the Shiv Sena MPs. “This is wrong,” he told reporters when asked to comment.