New Delhi | Jagran Politics Desk: Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Santanu Sen on Friday was suspended for the entire monsoon session of the Parliament, a day after he snatched and tore Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw's statement over the Pegasus media report in the Rajya Sabha.

Santanu was asked by Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu to "withdraw from the House" and allow the Rajya Sabha to function. Vice President Naidu said that he was "deeply distressed by the course of events in House".

"Unfortunately, proceedings of the House hit a new low with papers being snatched from the Minister and torn into pieces. Such actions are a clear assault on our Parliamentary democracy," he said, as reported by news agency ANI.

Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was supposed to issue a statement in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday over the Pegasus media report. However, he was forced to cut short his statement after Santanu snatched and tore his statement in the House, leading to chaos in the Rajya Sabha.

Shantanu alleged that Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri abused him in the Rajya Sabha and was on the verge of physically assaulting him before he was rescued by colleagues. He even claimed that Puri even rudely gesticulated at him.

"The union minister (Puri) threatened and abused me. He was about to assault me when my other colleagues came to my rescue," Shantanu was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Puri, however, is yet to issue a statement over the issue.

Meanwhile, the Pegasus media report has rocked the Parliament since the beginning of the monsoon session. However, the Centre has called the reports an "attempt to malign the Indian democracy and its well-established institutions".

"A highly sensational story was published by a web portal last night. Many over-the-top allegations made around this story. The press reports appeared a day before the monsoon session of Parliament. This can't be a coincidence," said Vaishnaw, as reported by PTI.

"In the past, similar claims were made regarding the use of Pegasus.... Those claims had no factual basis and were categorically denied by all parties," he added.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma