Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey on Thursday raised in the Lok Sabha the issue of a Trinamool Congress member allegedly calling him a 'Bihari gunda' during a Parliamentary committee meeting.
“I want to draw the attention of all members of this House. This is my 13th year as an MP and the way I was called 'Bihari gunda' at the Parliamentary committee meeting yesterday by a woman, by Trinamool Congress, I have not seen this in my life,’ Dubey said, amid din in the House due to protests by the Opposition over Pegasus and farm bill issues.
“What is our mistake? Our mistake is in developing this country. We have worked as labourers, as Hindi-speaking people whether from Uttar Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh... we have worked hard. We have learnt sessions from Lord Ram,” Dubey said.
However, Dubey did not name the TMC member.
As Dubey was speaking, Rajendra Agrawal, who was chairing the proceedings, adjourned the House till 12:30 pm.
As the House reassembled at 12:30 pm, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal urged the Chair to allow Dubey to complete the issue he was raising before the House got adjourned.
However, Agrawal called for papers to be laid on the table.
As the Opposition slogan shouting continued, Agrawal adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.
The meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology, chaired by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, on Wednesday was set to question government officials on the Pegasus spyware issue.
However, the meeting was postponed due to lack of quorum.
Even though the meeting did not take place, the gathering of BJP and Opposition party members witnessed drama.
Dubey had alleged that Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra called him a 'Bihari gunda'.
The MP has complained to Speaker Om Birla, calling it an attack on Bihar's pride.
"TMC is allergic to all the Hindi-speaking people. That's why they called me 'Bihari gunda'. This is an attack on Bihar's pride. She (Mahua Moitra) should apologise," Dubey said.
Dubey, the MP from Jharkhand's Godda took to Twitter to say that Moitra's ‘abusive language’ has brought out the open TMC's hatred towards North Indians, especially Hindi-speaking people.
“Trinamool Congress has abused all the Hindi-speaking people along with Bihar by using the word ‘Bihari gunda’. Mamata Banerjee-ji, this abuse by TMC MP Mahua Moitra has brought your party's hatred towards north Indians and, especially, Hindi-speaking people in front of the country," Dubey tweeted in Hindi.
Meanwhile, Moitra too took to Twitter to say: "Am a bit amused by charges of name-calling. IT meeting did not happen because NO quorum - members did not attend. How can I call someone a name who was not even present!! Check attendance sheet!" she tweeted.
In absence of the quorum, meeting of the 31-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology led by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor to discuss the Pegasus snooping case with ministry officials was not held.
"After a heated debate on 'Bihari gunda', the meeting was postponed due to lack of quorum," a member of the committee told ANI.
According to rules, one-third of the members of the panel are required to complete the quorum but BJP MPs who arrived for the meeting did not sign the attendance register stating that when the Congress was not allowing discussion on the issue in Parliament then it can't be discussed in the committee meeting.
Only nine MPs across the parties arrived for the meeting, which according to a notification of the Lok Sabha Secretariat had listed its agenda as 'Citizens' data security and privacy."
The panel had summoned officials from the Ministry of Electronics, Information and Technology and the Ministry of Home Affairs but sources said that officials from both the ministries could not attend the meeting due to the ongoing monsoon session.
A source told ANI: "Today the meeting did not take place due to lack of quorum, the meeting was adjourned for another day."
Inputs from PTI, ANI