New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday demanded action against ‘anti-national elements’ and the intervention of the Prime Minister while blaming right-wing activists for death threats and vandalising his office.
Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar sought to distance his party from the attack on Tharoor’s office in Thiruvananthapuram, saying law and order situation has to be dealt with by the state government.
Heated exchanges ensued when Kumar said the attack was “state-sponsored” and was countered by members of Congress and the Left parties, leading Deputy Speaker Thambidurai, who was on Chair, to expunge the names of the parties they have blamed from the records. Thambidurai said the entire House was concerned over a member and his office being attacked.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Tharoor said such attacks on people, who express dissent, destroy the idea of pluralism and violate the ground rules of the Constitution of freedom of speech and expression. Tharoor also raised the issue of the attack on Swami Agnivesh yesterday in Jharkhand and said it showed that there was no place for dissent.
“We cannot and should not stand by hooliganism… the rule of law should prevail,” he said. “I urge the Prime Minister to break his silence and seek action against anti-national elements,” Tharoor said. Replying to Tharoor, Kumar said the attacks were due to “state-organised terror” and the allegations that it was carried out by right-wing activists are “baseless and far from truth”.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said Kumar was misleading the House as the government had all intelligence agencies, and it can find out who were involved in the attack. Kumar said “law and order was a state government issue”
(With inputs from PTI)