New Delhi: The eight suspended opposition MPs from Rajya Sabha, who sat on a nightlong dharna Monday inside the Parliament premises in protest against two farm bills, called off their demonstration Tuesday to join the opposition in boycotting the rest of the Monsoon Session.
“Senior opposition leaders including Congress leader of the opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad appealed to all of us sitting at the dharna to finish it and join them in boycotting the rest of the session. That is how we have ended this dharna,” Congress Rajya Sabha MP Syed Nasir Hussain told ThePrint.
“We not only want our suspension to be revoked but also want the farm bills to be taken back and discussed further. There should be proper voting on it,” Hussain said. “We also want the government to incorporate a provision in the bill that MSP will not be scrapped. But RS Chairman wasn’t ready to listen to anyone.”
Hussain is among the eight MPs who were suspended Monday for a week over “gross disorderly conduct” during the passage of two farm bills — Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 — Sunday.
Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’ Brien and Dola Sen, Congress’ Rajeev Satav, Ripun Bora, Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjay Singh, CPI(M)’s Elamaram Kareem and K.K. Ragesh are the other suspended MPs.
Opposition stages walkout from Rajya Sabha
On Tuesday, the Opposition parties led by Congress staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha after their demand for revocation of suspension of the eight MPs fell on deaf ears.
Soon after the Rajya Sabha convened at 9 am, several senior opposition leaders including Azad, Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav, Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda and Nationalist Congress Party’s Praful Patel, appealed to Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu to revoke the suspension of the eight leaders.
Addressing Naidu, Gowda said, “The government should come to an understanding. Both the Opposition and the Government should sit together to help run the House. Democracy should work with cooperation.”
Yadav also apologised on behalf of the eight leaders. Talking to reporters after the walkout, Yadav said, “I am a senior MP. I have apologised for what happened in the House, but I didn’t get any response. I found this very insulting. That is why my party has decided to boycott the entire session.”
Azad said the opposition will boycott the Parliament session until the government accepts the demands — revocation of the MPs’ suspension, and government bringing another bill under which no private player can purchase from the farmers below the minimum support price (MSP).
However, Naidu didn’t relent and said the action was taken based on the conduct of the MPs. “I am not happy about the suspension of the members. The action has been taken on their conduct. We have nothing against any member,” he said.
Naidu also urged the opposition leaders to “rethink, introspect, return to the House to take part in discussions”.
After the walkout, the Rajya Sabha continued with its proceedings.
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