Congress MP Ramya Haridas Alleges BJP’s Jaskaur Meena Heckled Her
Ramya Haridas, Congress MP from Alathur, Kerala has lodged a complaint with the Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla alleging that BJP MP Jauskaur Meena physically assaulted her on Monday. She asked the speaker if this is repeatedly happening with her because she is a Dalit and a woman?
She wrote, “On 2nd March at 3 p.m. inside Lok Sabha I was physically assaulted by the MP Ms Jaskaur Meena. Is this repeatedly happened to me just because I am Dalit and woman? I request you to take action against the said MP. (sic)”
Is this the way a parliamentarian is treated at the floor of parliament? pic.twitter.com/JTUE5qhtqe
— All India Mahila Congress (@MahilaCongress) March 2, 2020
The recent violence in Northeast Delhi led Congress to protest against the riots on the first day of the second leg of the budget session. Leaders of both parties pushed and shoved each other as Congress protested and demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah. After this incident, Birla adjourned the house till Tuesday and said, “I am very upset at what happened in House. In such circumstances, I cannot conduct the House. The House is adjourned till tomorrow. Both sides are blaming each other.”
While complaining about the assault, she burst into tears in the Lok Sabha. “To raise slogans or march into the well of the House is a regular parliamentary strategy used by the Opposition parties to express their protest. We were not doing anything unusual,” Haridas told The Hindu.
She expressed her shock at how Birla did not allow a discussion on Delhi Riots that left at least 46 persons dead. “I was shocked when suddenly someone hit me on my shoulder from back. We don’t expect to be beaten up inside Parliament. It is unfortunate that the House which so far was a safe space has been reduced to this,” she added.
Haridas said that she met Birla after the house was adjourned. “If the Speaker wants to establish the truth, he can look into the CCTV and other Lok Sabha TV camera footages,” the Congress MP said.
She won the election from Alathur becoming one of the few women who rose from being a daughter of a daily wage labourer to a member of parliament. Haridas, who was competing against incumbent LDF candidate PK Biju, won with over 1.5 lakh votes as she received a total of 533,815 votes. Her victory was also a huge win for the Dalit community in the country as she became the second Dalit woman MP from the state. The first Dalit woman MP was the Communist Party of India’s Bhargavi Thankappan who won from Adoor in 1971.
“I was shocked when suddenly someone hit me on my shoulder from back. We don’t expect to be beaten up inside Parliament. It is unfortunate that the House which so far was a safe space has been reduced to this,”
Haridas’ father worked as a daily wage worker in a rural suburb of Kozhikode district, Kunnamangalam and her mother is currently state secretary of Congress women’s wing. Walking in her mother’s footsteps, she became a social worker early on in life.
However, since becoming an MP, this isn’t the first time she has claimed to have been assaulted as even during last year’s winter session, Congress had complained that two of its women parliamentarians, including Haridas, were “manhandled” by marshals in the Lok Sabha when they were protesting in the Well of the House over the Maharashtra government formation. Both the MPs had lodged a complaint with Speaker Birla, Outlook reported.
Picture credit- Deccan Herald