Four opposition leaders from Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Trinamool Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Friday wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla over Bharatiya Janata Party MP Ramesh Bidhuri's use of abusive language against Bahujan Samaj Party member Danish Ali in the House and demanded that the matter be sent to the privileges committee.
In separate letters to the speaker, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Supriya Sule of the NCP, DMK leader Kanimozhi and TMC's Aparupa Poddar said what had happened with Ali is unfortunate and that action should be taken against Bidhuri.
Bidhuri made certain objectionable remarks targeted at Ali on Thursday night during a discussion in Lok Sabha on the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
Ali has also written to the speaker demanding that the matter be sent to the Committee of Privileges.
In his letter, Chowdhury demanded "stringent action as per the rules against Ramesh Bidhuri for using brazenly abusive and unparliamentary words against a Member of a leading political party, Danish Ali, who also happens to be from the minority community".
"What is even more regrettable is the fact that this unprecedented, unfortunate and unsavoury incident has happened during the special session of the Parliament, that has been convened to commemorate 75 years of its history and that too, during the course of the discussion to mark the success of Mission Chandrayan III," he wrote.
Chowdhury said never in the history of Parliament have such words been used against a member of a minority community, and that too in the presence of the Speaker. "Although you have warned the member Ramesh Bidhuri and expunged the uncouth words ... that were used by him against Danish Ali, the utterances of the member are all over the media... this reflects poorly on the Parliament and its sanctity. The incident also reflects the mindset against the Opposition and the minority community," he said.
Chowdhury said expunging of the remarks from the records of the House has no meaningful impact and "it would only be appropriate to have the matter examined in detail by the Privileges Committee and punitive action taken against the errant member Ramesh Bidhuri".
Sule said Bidhuri's remarks were in contempt of Lok Sabha and constitute a breach of privilege of the House.
Under Rule 222 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha, "a member may, with the consent of the Speaker, raise a question involving a breach of privilege either of a member or of the House or of a Committee thereof", she said.
Poddar in her letter said the remarks made by Bidhuri were in "contempt of the Lok Sabha" and constitute breach of privilege.
Kanimozhi also urged the Speaker to initiate a privilege motion against Bidhuri.
She said during the course of his speech, Bidhuri directed the most foul invectives against Ali.
"I request you to kindly refer this matter to the committee of privileges under Rule 227 of rules and procedures of conduct of Lok Sabha...I also request you to suspend Mr Ramesh Bidhuri, MP until privileges committee submits its report," Kanimozhi said.
The remarks were expunged from parliamentary records and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh immediately expressed regret for Bidhuri's behaviour in the House.
Taking "serious note" of Bidhuri's remarks, Birla warned him of "strict action" if such behaviour was repeated in the future.
The BJP has also issued a show-cause notice to Bidhuri.