- Trinamool Rajya Sabha member Dr Santanu Sen suspended from the House
- Earlier, he had snatched Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw's statement on Pegasus
- Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu declared Santanu Sen's suspension
Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Dr Santanu Sen was today suspended from the House for the remaining part of the monsoon session for snatching IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw's statement on the Pegasus affair and flinging them amid the uproar in Parliament yesterday. In a tweet today, he called his removal "unparliamentary".
Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu declared his suspension within moments of V Muraleedharan, the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, moving a motion on this.
"I move that Dr Santanu Sen, AITC, be suspended from the services of the House...for his unruly bhaviour, unbecoming of a member of Rajya Sabha, yesterday..." Mr Muraleedharan said in his motion.
Minutes after passing the motion, Chairman Naidu requested Dr Sen to leave the House. Amid protet by Trinamool MPs, he then adjourned the Rajya Sabha till 12.30 pm.
Dr Sen later tweeted saying his party's and its leader's voice cannot be stopped.
Thanks to @narendramodi& @BJP4India Govt again for suspending me from #Parliament in the most unparliamentary way.— DR SANTANU SEN (@SantanuSenMP) July 23, 2021
But be sure that voice of protest @MamataOfficial ji & @AITCofficial can't be stopped.#BharatiyaJasoosParty Minister @HardeepSPuri might be rewarded for hooliganism
Earlier in the day, following his suspension, several leaders of the opposition met Mr Naidu over the matter. They asked why the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs was allowed to speak and move the motion against Dr Sen when it was not listed in the business of the day.
Among those who met Mr Naidu were Jairam Ramesh, Tiruchi Shiva, Sukhendu Ray, and Anand Sharma.
Minister Vaishnaw was yesterday forced to cut short his statement on the Pegasus snooping row due to the uproar among opposition members. As soon he rose to speak, Dr Sen snatched his papers, tore them, and flung them at Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh.
This forced the minister to lay the paper on the table instead.
"Trinamool Congress has a culture of violence in West Bengal. They want to bring the same culture in Parliament. What kind of message they want to give to next generation of Parliamentarians?" Mr Vaishnaw said today when asked about yesterday's incident.
Responding to him, Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra said her party was happy the Bengal's culture had entered Parliament, which was against the BJP and for democracy.
"When Amit Shah was Home Minister, he used all IPS officers to spy. He is now bringing that Gujarat model all over India now," she said, hinting once again at the Pegasus row.
Her party colleague Derek O'Brien said he will speak on the matter later in the day. When asked where Dr Sen was, he said, "Shantanu Sen is not a terrorist. Pegasus is for terrorists. Ask those who have Pegasus."
The controversy surrounds media reports of the alleged targeting of journalists, top opposition leaders, and others in India by unknown entities using Pegasus, a spyware manufactured by an Israeli company that sells its products only to governments and vetted state agencies.