Opposition hits out at govt over suspension of 8 MPs

Suspended MPs holding ‘indefinite’ protest at Parliament premises against the move.

Pandemonium reigned supreme in the Rajya Sabha on Monday as the Chairperson suspended eight
MPs for one week. The suspended MPs included Derek O’Brien, Sanjay Singh, Rajiv Satav, K.K. Ragesh, Ripun Bora, Dola Sen, Syed Nazir Hussain and Elamaran Kareem. This suspension led to adjournment of the House several times as the suspended MPs refused to leave the House and the chair insisted that the House cannot function until the suspended MPs leave the House.

This finally led to the adjournment of the House till Tuesday. Before the suspension, Rajya Sabha Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu rejected the no-confidence motion against his deputy, Harivansh, on the grounds that proper procedure was not followed and that a 14- day notice was required to do the same.

After the adjournment of the House for the day, the suspended MPs sat on dharna inside the House and
later shifted to the Gandhi Murti in the Parliament premises. AAP MP Sanjay Singh said that they intend to sit on dharna the whole night and it will continue till their suspension is revoked. At the time of writing this article, the dharna at the Gandhi statue was still on.

Strongly condemning Sunday’s incident, Naidu told the House that he is deeply pained and what happened on Sunday in the House is unfortunate, unacceptable and condemnable. He added that all the Covid-19 related protocols were violated and “if we don’t follow Covid guidelines, then how do you expect the common man to follow?”

Asking members to do some introspection over what happened on Sunday, Naidu said, “Some members
were climbing on the secretary general’s table, dancing, shouting in the well, tearing paper breaking mikes, throwing papers and rule book on Deputy chairman. Is it a parliamentary standard?” Naidu also added that he is worried about the fact that the Deputy Chairman was physically threatened and wondered if Marshals had not been called on time, what would have happened to the Deputy Chairman?

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “Suspension of the 8 MPs who fought to protect farmers’ interests is unfortunate and reflective of this autocratic government’s
mindset that doesn’t respect democratic norms and principles. We won’t bow down and we’ll fight this fascist government in Parliament and on the street.”

Former Congress president and MP Rahul Gandhi also took to social media and said, “Muting of democratic India continues by initially silencing and later suspending MPs in Parliament and
turning a blind eye to farmers’ concern on the black agriculture laws. This ‘Omniscient’ government’s endless arrogance has brought economic disaster for the entire country.”

The Rajya Sabha on Sunday witnessed ruckus during the passage of the farm bills as members not only
tore the bills and threw papers, but also broke the Chairman’s mike.