New Delhi: Massive ruckus erupted in Parliament on Thursday when Opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Santanu Sen snatched and tore Union Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s statement on the Pegasus spyware controversy.
TMC and other opposition party members rushed into the well of the House as Vaishnaw was called to make a statement over the issue.
As papers were flung into the air, the Union Minister could not complete his statement in the Rajya Sabha and instead laid a copy of it on the table of the House.
“A highly sensational story was published by a web portal on July 18, 2021. Many over-the-top allegations were made around this story. The press reports appeared a day before Monsoon Session of Parliament. This can’t be a coincidence,” Vaishnaw said.
“All concerned parties have already denied such reports and I request all the members to go through the detail report,” he added.
A verbal feud later ensued between the TMC and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs in the Rajya Sabha after the incident.
The marshals had to intervene to bring the situation under control.
Deputy Chairman Harivansh asked members to desist from unparliamentary behaviour, before adjourning the proceedings of the House for the rest of the day.
This comes as the TMC and BJP have been at loggerheads over the Pegasus snooping controversy.
Earlier on Wednesday, the BJP hit back at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her outburst against Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government over the Pegasus snooping controversy.
West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh alleged the TMC leaders “don’t communicate except for messaging on WhatsApp, as they know that Mamata Banerjee herself taps their phones”.
“She and her government use Pegasus software. Phone tapping is not our work, but that of Congress, from where Mamata has come,” ANI quoted Ghosh as saying.
The TMC supremo had earlier lashed out at the Centre over the Pegasus snooping controversy and asked the opposition to unite against the Union Government.