The meeting of the Information and Technology Committee, led by former minister and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, was adjourned on Wednesday because of the lack of quorum and a face-off between BJP and Opposition MPs. It may be noted that this morning BJP MP Nishikant Dubey had moved a breach of privilege motion against Tharoor and also moved a motion on Article 94 and 96, which is for no-confidence, saying that Tharoor was using the IT Committee to pursue the political agenda of the Congress.
Sources say that the members of the BJP — including Nishikant Dubey, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Sanjay Seth, Locket Chatterjee and others — went to the committee meeting but did not sign after which the meeting had to be called off because in the Opposition camp only nine MPs were present and a quorum required at least 10 MPs to be present.
Among the MPs from the Opposition present for the meeting were Sahib Nasir Hussain and Karti Chidambaram from the Congress, T Sumathy of the DMK and Mohua Moitra of the TMC. This is the second day in a row when the meeting saw a face-off.
Congress MP Karti Chidambaram tweeted, “@BJP4India members come to the IT Committee & refuse to sign the attendance register to deny a quorum. Further all the witnesses called from MiEIT & MHA wrote in excuses & didn’t appear as called to testify. It’s very clear that #Pegasus is a no go area for this government."
Sources said that officials who had been called to appear before the committee during the meeting had informed the committee of their unavailability well in advance due to the ongoing Monsoon Session.
Dubey told CNN-News18 that TMC MP Mahua Mitra called him ‘Bihar Ka Gunda’ and repeated it at least thrice leading to the war of words after which the BJP MPs walked out.
After the meeting was over Tharoor held a meeting with the Speaker of Lok Sabha.
Even on Tuesday, the meeting took place only after BJP MPs walked out, but since the Opposition had a quorum in place they discussed matters relating to the cinematography bill which was attended by actor-director Kamal Haasan and CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi.