New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): Hitting out at TMC MP Santanu Sen for snatching a statement on Pegasus from Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in Rajya Sabha and tore it into pieces, Union Minister Anurag Thakur termed the incident "unfortunate" and said that such behaviour is "shameful" for one of the largest democracies in the world.
Speaking to reporters at Parliament on Thursday, Thakur said, "We thought that when the Parliament will start functioning, various issues relating to the public will be discussed. But, instead of participating in the discussions, incidents like tearing the statement and snatching away papers are happening. It is very unfortunate. If you have facts and strong arguments then you should participate in the discussion. By behaving in this manner, please do not bring shame to one of the largest democracies in the world."
"If on some subject, a union minister wants to give a statement in the House as all the Members of Parliament and citizens of this country have the right to information, snatching away that statement and tearing it is very unfortunate and shameful," he added.
Cornering Sen, Thakur recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the very first day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament had said that the Centre was ready for discussions on any topic.
He further appealed to the opposition parties to rise above politics and work as a team to combat COVID-19.
Thakur's response came after Sen on Thursday snatched the statement from Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in Rajya Sabha and tore it into pieces.
Following this, there was a verbal feud between BJP and TMC MPs. Marshals intervened to bring the situation under control.
Heated words were exchanged between Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Sen after the latter snatched a paper from Vaishnaw while he was speaking on the 'Pegasus Project' report in Rajya Sabha.
The development comes after the names of over 40 Indian journalists appeared on the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware, according to a report published in The Wire on Sunday.
According to the report, the journalists who were targeted work for some news organisations in the country including Hindustan Times, The Hindu, India Today, Indian Express and Network18. Many of them cover matters related to Defence, Home Ministry, Election Commission and Kashmir among others. (ANI)