Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi and BJP leader SS Ahluwalia almost came to blows — a push that did not result in a shove— on Thursday after a meeting of the parliamentary standing committee examining the National Unique Identification Authority of India Bill.
The incident followed media reports trashing the bill. Alvi believed Ahluwalia had a role to play in leaking the panel’s deliberations.
Alvi said he had received a call on his mobile from a journalist who mistook him for Ahluwalia and sought his comments on the draft report. “And when I was showing the number from which the call came to some people, he (Ahluwalia) pushed me from the back and tried to snatch my phone.”
He said that he preferred not to hit back in the interest of the dignity of Parliament. Ahluwalia was quick to deny the charge, saying he had never leaked any report in his political career.
He said, “It was not a scuffle” and he was ready for any trial — even by the media — in this context.
Alvi said he would bring the incident to the notice of BJP leader LK Advani and Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari.
The standing committee is learnt to have rejected the bill and asked the government to bring in a fresh bill.
Once the panel submits its report to Parliament, the government will examine its recommendation. Officials, however, pointed out that the government was not bound by its recommendation.