Some MPs favour curtailing privileges

Following Thursday’s unprecedented ‘pepper spray’ incident, there were demands for curtailing privileges of parliamentarians and frisking them before being allowed to step inside their respective Houses.

“Today it is pepper spray, tomorrow it could be some toxic or poisonous gas and put members’ lives at risk,” a senior Parliament secretariat official said minutes after the Lok Sabha was adjourned after a member from Rayalaseema sprayed pepper spray inside the House.

Several MPs Deccan Herald spoke to favoured frisking of parliamentarians before they enter the House.

“The MPs today represent a cross-section of the society. These are not the good old days when members maintained decorum. You also have some members with a criminal background,” a Congress member said asking not to be named.

Members are free to move around the Parliament premises without being frisked. Some are even known to make it a big issue if an unsuspecting member of the Parliament staff fails to recognise a member and asks him to pass through a door-frame metal detector.

“We cannot have anyone terrorise the House. Such an incident cannot be tolerated. These members should not be allowed to set a precedent,” Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily said.

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