Rajya Sabha on Wednesday witnessed heated exchanges between Congress and Samajwadi Party members over recent instances of rape in Uttar Pradesh, particularly the gang rape of a mother and daughter in Bulandshahr, with the government saying law and order was a state matter but the incidents were highly condemnable.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Rajni Patil (Congress) said the number of incidents of rape and other atrocities against women was on the rise and there was an urgent need for the House to take note and discuss the issue.
She mentioned the gang rape of a mother and her minor daughter when they were travelling from Noida to Kanpur.
As other Congress members joined in, Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan, a SP MP from UP, likened the Congress raising the issue with ‘crocodile tears’ and ‘torture’ and asked them not to do politics over the issue of atrocities and crime against women.
She said she had given notice for discussing the issue several days ago but the notice has not yet been accepted.
“I do not care which part of the country the incidents have taken place. I want to discuss. I do not want to politicise,” she said.
Ambika Soni (Congress) immediately shot back saying it was a minister of the SP government in Uttar Pradesh who was playing politics over the incident.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the ghastly incident, whether in Uttar Pradesh or any other part of the country, needs to be condemned in strongest terms and strictest action taken against culprits.
Maintaining that law and order is a state subject, he said expressed hope that the UP government would act strongly in the case.
“We are ready for discussion on women's security. Please give notice, we will discuss it,” he said.
As the Congress members continued to raise the issue and SP members vociferously reacting back, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said the matter raised was very, very serious and every member was seeking a discussion. “No problem. Please give notice,” he said.
Tapan Kumar Sen (Communist Party of India-Marxist) said a notice for short duration discussion on the issue was given a few days back and it is pending in chairman’s office.
Kurien said a discussion could be held on security of women and atrocities against them. “I assure it. There is no problem... Government has said it is ready for discussion,” he said asking members to resume their places.
Naresh Agarwal (SP) said Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan had given a notice under rule 176 for short duration discussion on the issue almost a month ago.
Uttar Pradesh government, he said, had taken a prompt action in the Bulandshahr incident which has been appreciated by the whole country.
“If politics is played on the issue, we will also politicise,” he said.
Satish Mishra (Bahujan Samaj Party) sought to counter him saying the main accused has not been arrested in the incident.
“If there is a notice, it will be examined. There will be discussion,” Kurien said.
He forcefully asked members to resume their places and allow the listed business to be taken up, following which the House took up business.
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