Grand Alliance legislators stage a dharna in the main entrance of Bihar Assembly during Budget session, in Patna, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (PTI Photo)
The Congress on Wednesday alleged that “democracy has been murdered” in Bihar after opposition legislators were allegedly roughed up by the police inside the state Assembly.
Unprecedented chaos erupted inside the Bihar Assembly on Tuesday when police was called to assist the marshals in evicting opposition members who allegedly tried to physically prevent the Speaker from taking his Chair. The turmoil was a result of a Bill introduced in the House by the Nitish Kumar government, with a view to giving more power to the police force.
Despite protests outside the Assembly by the Opposition against what it termed a “draconian” law, Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021 was passed in the State Assembly Tuesday and will now be tabled in the Legislative Council.
Meanwhile, in a latest development, an FIR has been registered against RJD leaders Tejashwi Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav and other unnamed party workers, according to ANI.
Reacting to the whole episode, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Wednesday said the “embarrassing” incident that unfolded in Bihar Assembly has made it clear that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is firmly under the influence of BJP and RSS.
Gandhi said those stripping democracy have no right to call themselves a government.
“It is clear from the shameful events in Bihar Assembly that the chief minister is firmly under the influence of BJP and RSS. Those stripping democracy have no right to call themselves a government,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
#बिहार विधानसभा की शर्मनाक घटना से साफ़ है कि मुख्यमंत्री पूरी तरह RSS/BJP-मय हो चुके हैं।
लोकतंत्र का चीरहरण करने वालों को सरकार कहलाने का कोई अधिकार नहीं है।
विपक्ष फिर भी जनहित में आवाज़ उठाता रहेगा- हम नहीं डरते!
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 24, 2021
He said the opposition will continue to raise issues in public interest and do not fear anything.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala urged people to raise their voice against the alleged police high handedness in Bihar where RJD and Congress MLAs were allegedly assaulted and manhandled by the police.
He said they were raising their voice against the passage of the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill in the state assembly, that will empower the police to put anyone behind bars.
“Democracy had been murdered in Bihar and if the people of the country will not raise their voice now, there will be no democracy left in the country,” he told reporters.
He further alleged that hooliganism has become the order of the day by the JDU and BJP in Bihar.
प्रजातंत्र के मंदिर यानि बिहार विधानसभा के अंदर विधायकों को लात व घूंसे से पुलिस द्वारा पिटवाया गया, विधायकों पर पत्थरबाजी हुई, विधायकों और महिला विधायकों को घसीटा गया।
बिहार विधानसभा में लोकतंत्र को शर्मसार करने वाली जदयू-भाजपा सरकार के कृत्य पर श्री @rssurjewala का वक्तव्य। pic.twitter.com/fXLhqjEA2n
— Congress (@INCIndia) March 24, 2021
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also slammed the Nitish Kumar government for the action meted out to the opposition legislators, saying that the BJP and its allies clearly do not respect democracy.
बिहार में जिस पार्टी को भाजपा ने चुन-चुन कर कमजोर कर दिया वो भाजपाई इशारों पर जन प्रतिनिधियों के साथ निर्मम व्यवहार कर रही है। महिला विधायकों का अपमान किया गया। स्पष्ट है भाजपा, उनके सहयोगी दल लोकतंत्र का आदर नहीं करते।
ये घटना भाजपा-जद यू सरकार के डर और कायरपन की निशानी है। pic.twitter.com/eu4PBANhPK
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) March 24, 2021
Tejashwi Yadav, also earlier in the day, tweeted a video of the Assembly where the Opposition MLAs were being blocked by the police.
“Draconian Act which will give absolute powers to Police,so that it can act as veritable arm of Nitish’s dictatorial politics, has been passed in police protection by throwing out battered MLAs using Police itself. See how Police is blocking our MLAs inside the house. Shameless!,” he tweeted.
Draconian Act which will give absolute powers to Police,so that it can act as veritable arm of Nitish’s dictatorial politics, has been passed in police protection by throwing out battered MLAs using Police itself.
See how Police is blocking our MLAs inside the house. Shameless! pic.twitter.com/EnUNg5GsWM
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) March 24, 2021
Tejashwi Yadav, his brother and former minister Tej Pratap Yadav, and over 50 Opposition leaders, staged a protest at the busy Dak Bungalow crossing in Patna on Tuesday against the Bill. The leaders later courted arrest after the police used water cannons to bring the situation under control.
With PTI inputs