Now TRS pulls out of proposed probe panel on Parliament ruckus

New Delhi: Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) becomes the fourth opposition party to withdraw from the proposed Rajya Sabha panel to look into allegations of misconduct against Opposition MPs during the last day of the monsoon session.

The Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam earlier declined to join the panel, blaming the government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the ruckus that rocked the Upper House on August 11.

TRS initially had agreed to join the panel. But earlier this week, TRS floor leader K Kesava Rao sent a letter to Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu, expressing his reluctance to be a part of the probe into the action of Opposition MPs during the furious protests on the last day of the monsoon session, according to officials and TRS functionaries.

“We initially agreed. But now we are no more. Even as we condemn any violence or disruption in Parliament, we can’t be a member of this probe,” said a senior TRS leader on condition of anonymity.

“TRS doesn’t approve what happened in the Rajya Sabha. But we don’t know what will be the quantum of punishment. We wrote to Naidu that we might not agree with the BJP and other parties. Our position is any action against MPs must be done keeping in mind the dignity of the House,” the senior leader quoted above said.

TRS is the fourth party to officially communicate its inability to participate in any probe. A functionary pointed out that apart from TRS’ efforts to maintain a distance with the BJP, TRS chief and Telangana chief minister K Chandra Shekar Rao enjoys close ties with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The second-largest opposition party, Trinamool Congress, isn’t likely to be invited in the panel because several party lawmakers allegedly were involved in the ruckus.

On August 11, in the dying hours of the disruption-hit monsoon session, some opposition MPs clashed with the marshals when the general insurance amendment bill was cleared amid furious protests. At least two marshals submitted a written account of their injuries to the chairperson. Two women MPs of the Congress, Phulo Devi and Chayya Varma, alleged they were manhandled that broke out on the floor of the House.
An internal Rajya Sabha secretariat report later said opposition MPs tore papers, obstructed ministers from taking their seats, choked and suffocated one marshal, dragged and pushed another, took videos and even climbed on a LED TV stand.

The Opposition denied these charges and blamed the government for the unruly scenes in the House. They said outsiders were brought into the House who used force and physically manhandled members.