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MP Sushmita Dev Cries Foul On Suspension; 'Opposition's Right To Discuss Burning Issues'

In the eye of the storm, after being suspended along with 18 others from the Upper House of the Parliament for 'misconduct', MP Sushmita Dev spoke to Republic.

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In the eye of the storm, after being suspended along with 18 others from the Upper House of the Parliament for 'misconduct', MP Sushmita Dev spoke to Republic on Tuesday. During the exclusive, the Trinamool Congress leader highlighted how the Opposition had been moving notices, which she referred to as the appropriate procedure, to pave way for a discussion and debate and clarification on the part of the government on the price rise and the imposition of GST on consumables. 

Underlining that repeatedly the discussion and debate were being denied, she said, "There is no plausible reason why. First, we were told that it was the discretion of the chair. Then, they said that the Finance Minister is not well, she has COVID, we agreed saying that it would not be fair for her to come, but any other Minister can hear the debate and reply to it, for instance, the Commerce Minister."

'Against the basic tenets of Democracy' 

Sushmita Dev said that continuous refusal for discussion and debates on a burning issue that has been impacting the nation goes 'against the basic tenets of democracy'. "And, for us to stand back and allow that would be a dereliction of our duties as the leaders of the Opposition. That is the reason why we raised our voices and the order came from the chair, saying why are we protesting, but we stand strongly that it is our right to debate and discuss in the Parlament the burning issues and we will not move away from that.

And let me tell you, most of the opposition parties have a similar demand so I don't think that it is a ruckus, it is a democratic right to demand a discussion, which we have been continuously demanding. It makes a mockery of the parliamentary system which is repeatedly happening in this parliament since the BJP came to power."

'Every authority comes with a duty'

The MPs have been suspended under Rule Number 256 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, which states, "The Chairman may, if he deems it necessary, suspend a member from the service of the Council for a period not exceeding the remainder of the Session..”

On being made to realise that the Chair was authorised to take action, the TMC leader said, "It is one thing to say that it is the authority of the chair, but every authority comes with a duty and that duty is to let the parliamentarians debate what is ailing the nation. If those rights are repeatedly denied what is it that you expect us to do? The people anyway keep saying where is the Opposition? Why are they not raising their voice, the Modi government is going scot-free with price rises?" 

Citing an example to prove her point, she said, "You saw the kind of protest that happened when the farm laws were being introduced, debated and bulldozed and ultimately what happened, the opposition was proved right...the Prime Minister had to take back those laws. If he had listened to us, then he would not have had to  face the embarrassment which he did nationally, that speaks volumes." 

 

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