Trinamool Congress's Derek O'Brien, who got suspended for the rest of the Winter Session for allegedly throwing the Rajya Sabha rule book at the chair during an opposition protest over the Election Reform Bill, refused to give a straight answer on Tuesday on whether such an event really took place. Pressed on the point, he accused the government of doing much more.
"Oh! Really? Someone threw a rulebook? Parliament is being burned. Modi and Shah roaming around the parliament with a knife murdering democracy," Mr O'Brien mocked when asked about the matter. "12 MPs are sitting outside. 700 farmers were murdered. Who did that?" he added.
Asked if that justified his throwing the rulebook, he told NDTV: "Show me the footage. They suspended me for a day. My gosh. Imagine if I threw the rulebook..."
Asked why he was suspended in that case, the Trinamool leader smiled. "Because this government doesn't like to listen to tutorials…".
"For six minutes, I gave this government a tutorial," Mr O'Brien said on Tuesday, citing his explanation in house on how the members were not given time to consider, discuss or debate the bill. "Yesterday, they passed the bill in 20 minutes in the Lok Sabha. You are supposed to allow me two days. No Rajya Sabha member was allowed even one day. It was the same as farm bills".
The opposition has been against the electoral reform that involves linking of Aadhaar with voter ID card, contending that it would lead to unchecked voting by non-citizens during elections.
But the bill was cleared in the Lok Sabha on Monday and made its way through Rajya Sabha on Tuesday amid massive protests.
This law will go the same way as farm laws, where the Prime Minister and Union Minister Amit Shah to "eat humble pie", Mr O'Brien warned, referring to the scrapping of the contentious laws last month after months of protest across the country .
Mr O'Brien was the 13th Rajya Sabha MP suspended over unruly behavior.
While his suspension will last a day -- since the house will be adjourned today for the rest of the Winter Session -- it has given the opposition more ammunition against the government. The whole of Winter Session has been punctuated by opposition protests and adjournment of house against the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs.