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New Delhi, February 7, 2020
The Lok Sabha on Friday witnessed high drama as BJP and Congress MPs engaged in a scuffle, with Manickam Tagore trying to snatch a paper from Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan as the Minister was reading a note condemning Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's "danda' jibe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Congress leader's snatching attempt was followed by BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's rushing towards Tagore to stop him, and then MPs from both treasury and opposition benches trooped near Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla's podium.
Following the ruckus, Om Birla adjourned the House till 1 p.m.
The pandemonium occurred during the Question Hour. Later the House again met and was quickly adjourned till 2 p.m. as uproarious scenes continued.
Speaking to the media outside the House, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi dubbed Tagore's attempt height of "gundaism".
"After Rahul Gandhi's instigation, they (Congress MPs) thought of taking the 'danda' way. This was an attempt to manhandle Dr Harsh Vardhan. This shows the frustration level of the Congress and is height of gundaism."
BJP MP Jagdambika Pal said that Union Minister Harsh Vardhan was speaking in Lok Sabha on Rahul Gandhi's statement when Congress MP Manickam Tagore charged towards him. "It is an unfortunate moment for Indian democracy."
The uproar started soon after Rahul Gandhi asked a question during the Question Hour.
Harsh Vardhan said before he answers the question put up by Gandhi he wanted to condemn in no uncertain words "the outlandish language Gandhi has used against the Prime Minister of the country".
Harsh Vardhan, who made the remarks amid the uproar, said he was surprised at Gandhi's remarks as his father was Prime Minister of the country.
"In the worst of cases, BJP leaders have not made such outlandish personal remarks against Gandhi. The entire House must in unequivocal terms condemn his language against the Prime Minister," Harsh Vardhan said.
Gandhi on Wednesday had said that the youth of India will "beat him (Modi) up with a stick" given the rising unemployment in the country.
The former Congress President was addressing a rally in poll-bound Delhi when said that Modi will "not be able to step out of his house in six months from now. The youth of India will beat him with sticks to make him understand that without employment, the country can never progress."
The Congress rally was in Old Delhi's Hauz Qazi area.
The Prime Minister on Thursday responded to Gandhi over his 'danda' jibe, saying he would be sufficiently prepared given his pursuance of yoga in the last 20 years. He said his back has become "danda-proof", and he will further strengthen it with more "surya namaskars".
Replying to the debate on Motion of Thanks to the President's address, Modi on Thursday said: "I heard a Congress leader say that youth will hit Modi with sticks in six months. I have decided that I will increase my frequency of 'surya namaskar' so that my back becomes so strong that it can bear the hits."