Rajya Sabha adjourned as Opposition protests MPs' suspension
Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day on Wednesday amid protests by Opposition MPs over the suspension of 12 members. The protesting MPs had gathered near the Gandhi Statue on the Parliament premises earlier in the day. They included Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Malikarjun Kharge, Trinamool Congress' Sougata Roy and Mohua Moitra, and Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi.
Why does it matter?
- The 12 MPs were suspended for allegedly creating a ruckus in Parliament on the last day of the Monsoon Session.
- They were suspended from the remaining days of the ongoing Winter Session.
- The suspension came after Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi wrote to Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu Monday seeking action against the "indiscipline."
Who are the suspended MPs?
Six suspended MPs belong to Congress: Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, Ripun Bora, Rajamani Patel, Syed Nasir Hussain, and Akhilesh Prasad Singh. The others include TMC's Dola Sen and Shanta Chhetri; Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi and Anil Desai; CPM's Elamaram Kareem; and CPI's Binoy Viswam.
Opposition MPs later sloganeered inside House
The Rajya Sabha was first adjourned till noon after Opposition MPs started sloganeering. When the proceedings resumed, Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge rose to speak for the suspended MPs. However, Deputy Chair Harivansh refused to discuss the issue. Congress, DMK, and TRS MPs then gathered in the Well of the House and started sloganeering. The Rajya Sabha was eventually adjourned for the day.
Lok Sabha also witnessed protests
Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha, too, was adjourned till noon. Opposition MPs had stormed the Well of the House in protest against farmer issues. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla criticized them for disrupting proceedings during Question Hour. "This is the wrong way," Birla said.
Opposition to discuss 'future course of action'
Amid protests, LoP Kharge said in Parliament that their demand is to revoke the suspension of all 12 MPs. "We will hold a meeting and decide the future course of action," he added. Kharge Tuesday also wrote to Naidu, disapproving arguments made by the latter to justify the suspension. However, Naidu turned down the Opposition's appeal, saying the MPs have not shown any "remorse."
Suspension shows arrogance: Dola Sen
The Opposition protest against the MPs' suspension is expected to continue. Suspended MPs from the TMC will reportedly hold protests every day from 9 am to 6 pm till December 23, the last day of the Winter Session. TMC MP Dola Sen said the protest will continue till they "don't get justice." "The suspension of MPs shows the arrogance of those in the majority."
Visuals from the protest outside Parliament
Delhi | Suspended Opposition members of Rajya Sabha sit on protest against their suspension from the House for the remaining part of the Winter session of Parliament pic.twitter.com/Fo5DKcgkgX— ANI (@ANI) December 1, 2021
Minister wishes 'wisdom' upon protesting MPs
"If the 12 suspended members of Rajya Sabha want to come to the House, then they should express remorse. Let them sit on dharna...I pray Mahatma Gandhi gives them wisdom," Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said.
Protests cast shadow over Winter Session
The stalemate over the issue of suspension has already washed out two days of the 25-day-long Winter Session. However, the Centre did not take up any bill on Tuesday, saying they would wait for Opposition MPs to return to take up any business. Meanwhile, the Opposition has decided not to proceed with the proposal of boycotting Parliament. However, the protest would continue.