New Delhi: Anna Hazare’s close aide Kiran Bedi and actor Om Puri face privilege motions for mocking at and passing caustic comments against lawmakers.
The notices were filed in both houses of parliament Monday even as Om Puri apologised for calling MPs “anpadh” (uneducated) and “nalayak” (incompetent) at the Ramlila Maidan during Hazare’s fast last week.
Bedi expressed no regrets for poking fun at politicians who she alleged don “several masks” to deceive people.
MPs in both Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha have given notices against the two for the “derogatory and defamatory” comments.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said she was considering a privilege motion against Om Puri and Bedi.
“The matter is under my consideration. I have received notices on the question of privilege,” she said in the Lok Sabha after she received the complaints.
Congress MPs Praveen Singh Aron, Jagdambika Pal, Vinay Pandey, Harsh Vardhan, P.L. Punia and Kamal Kishor, as also Mirza Mehboob Beg (National Conference) and Ramashankar Rajbhar (Bahujan Samaj Party) have given the notices alleging that Om Puri used “derogatory and defamatory words against members of parliament and also casting reflections on the house”.
The Samajwadi Party’s (SP) Premdas Katheria and Shailendra Kumar have also given similar notices.
Similar notices were also given in the Rajya Sabha where Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan said he would convey the sense of the house on the issue to Chairman Hamid Ansari.
If the notices are admitted, the privilege committee will quiz the accused and recommend action against them.
Ramgopal Yadav of the SP said Om Puri had used “unparliamentary words” and the telecast of his speech at Ramlila Maidan by a news channel was “a breach of privilege of parliament and its members”.
He said the notices should be sent to the privilege committee. Yadav said that some of the famous people and leaders like Mughal emperor Akbar never went to a proper school but still did a lot for the nation.
He also mentioned about Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, a college dropout. He said industrialist late Dhirubhai Ambani was a petrol pump employee who never went to a college but built an empire.
Mohammed Adeeb, an independent MP from Uttar Pradesh, said Bedi had mocked at parliamentarians by wrapping a scarf around her head and face.
Adeeb said that another Hazare aide Prashant Bhushan told a TV channel Sunday that MPs pass bills in parliament only after taking bribes. “This is a serious allegation against parliament. Appropriate action should be taken against them,” he said.
Bedi had wrapped a scarf around her face and alleged that MPs wore different masks to hide their real faces.
“They say one thing inside the house and one thing outside. You remove one mask, then you find another one, and then another,” she said, at the protest rally of Hazare last week.
Om Puri also launched a blistering attack on politicians from the stage at Ramlila Maidan. He told the thousands gathered that he feels “ashamed when an IAS or IPS officer salutes a ganwar (illiterate) who is a neta (political leader).
“Yeh anpadh hain, inka kya background hai? Aadhe se zyaada MP ganwaar hain,” Om Puri, known for his character roles, told the cheering crowd.
However, the 60-year-old actor later apologised and said he was ready to face any action by MPs. “If they are still angry with me, I will take whatever punishment they give me.”