Amid continued faceoff over the suspension of Rajya Sabha MPs from the ongoing Winter Session, Opposition leaders staged a protest outside the Parliament on Wednesday. The 12 Opposition MPs who were suspended for their alleged unruly behaviour in the previous Monsoon session staged a dharna in the Parliament premises against the 'undemocratic and illegal' action.
They were joined by several other MPs, including Congress' Rahul Gandhi, who held banners and raised slogans, accusing the Centre of silencing the Opposition and 'murdering democracy'.
Lashing out at the Centre, TMC MP Saugata Roy said, "Suspending the Rajya Sabha MPs for something that happened in the last session, the government and the Chair have lowered the dignity of the House. No party is accepting the suspension. Unless they withdraw it, the Parliament will not come to normalcy."
The impasse between the government and Opposition over the suspension has increased further, as Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu refused to revoke the suspension. Stating that the suspended MPs did not show any 'remorse' for their 'misbehaviour', Naidu asserted that the opposition had 'every right to walk out' instead of throwing the House into bedlam and harassing the Chair.
The Opposition MPs however refused to apologise, calling the move 'unwarranted' and 'undemocratic'. Meanwhile, the Parliament members are scheduled to meet at the office of Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge after the protest to chalk out the further strategy for the third day of the Parliament Winter Session.
On Monday, the Rajya Sabha suspended 12 members on the grounds of indiscipline, referring to the ruckus that had been caused during the Monsoon Session of the Parliament. The suspension notice stated, "The MPs have lowered the dignity of the House by unprecedented acts of misconduct through their violent behaviour and 'intentional attacks' on security personnel on the last day of the monsoon session on August 11". The suspension was carried via voice vote.
The 12 MPs - CPM's Elamaram Kareem, Congress' Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, Ripun Bora, Rajamani Patel, Syed Nasir Hussain, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, CPI's Binoy Viswam, TMC's Dola Sen & Shanta Chhetri, Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi & Anil Desai were suspended on Monday for the ruckus they did in the previous session.
Earlier on August 11, during the Monsoon Session, irresponsible behaviour was witnessed in Rajya Sabha when Opposition MPs climbed on the officials' tables, waved black cloths and threw files when the House began a discussion on farmers' protest against the Centre's three farm laws.