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Witnessed ‘murder’ of Gandhi, JP, Lohia in House — RS Deputy Chairman Harivansh goes on fast

In letter to Venkaiah Naidu explaining his decision, Harivansh plays up his Bihar roots, which the ruling BJP invoked to slam the opposition for Sunday's ruckus over farm bills.

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New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh has decided to observe a one-day fast against the unruly behaviour he faced in the Upper House Sunday when two contentious farm bills were passed.

In his letter to Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu explaining his decision, Harivansh played up his Bihar roots, which the ruling BJP had invoked to slam the opposition for the ruckus Sunday. The state is set for elections later this year.

In his letter, Harivansh said he was born in the village of JP (Jayaprakash Narayan) and was deeply influenced by people such as Mahatma Gandhi, JP, Ram Manohar Lohia and (former Bihar CM) Karpoori Thakur.

“I have imbibed the values and culture from people like Gandhi, Lohia, JP, Karpoori Thakur and Chandrasekhar. These very people were murdered in front of me in the Upper House,” Harivansh wrote. “…In my conduct in public life, I have adapted the culture imbibed by the JP movement and these great leaders. The scenes inside the House that I witnessed on September 20 have caused unimaginable damage to the House and the chair.”

Jayaprakash Narayan, former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur and Ram Manohar Lohia were among some of the stalwart socialist leaders who hailed from Bihar.

The deputy chairman said he has been deeply pained by the behaviour and is going through a lot of mental anguish since the incident.

“I thought that I should undertake a fast against the insulting behaviour meted out to me,” he added. “Maybe because my fasting will give rise to a sense of self purification in the mood of the new MPs, who have misbehaved.”

He will, however, continue to attend the proceedings of the House.

The deputy chairman further wrote that even he can commit mistakes but has the moral courage to admit to it in public life.

“According to me, I don’t have that importance. But the chair of the deputy chairman is important,” his letter reads.

Also read: With song, slogans & mosquito repellents, 8 suspended MPs complete nightlong Parliament dharna

The Bihar connection

BJP leaders had Monday also sought to turn the unruly behaviour of the opposition Congress and RJD MPs with Harivansh as an insult to Bihari pride and said the people of the state will give a fitting reply to these parties.

Addressing a press conference, Union leader Ravi Shankar Prasad had said, “We do not want to make it a political issue but the way the Congress and RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) kept looking when Harivanshji was attacked and also encouraged it in the most unabashed way, will be told to the people of Bihar. Congress and RJD will have to answer the people of the state.”

In his letter, Harivansh too dwelt on his Bihar connection in his letter. He has written that the land of Bihar with which he has close ties is where the independence movement took shape. 

“The Champaran movement made Gandhi into Mahatma Gandhi…. JP’s entire movement gave direction to the country,” his letter reads. “In that same land, the direction given by Karpoori Thakur on social justice brought a new light to the life of those who have been deprived and remained backward since generations.”

Harivansh had Tuesday morning visited the eight suspended MPs protesting inside the Parliament premises, a move that came in for praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Naidu.

“To personally serve tea to those who attacked and insulted him a few days ago as well as those sitting on Dharna shows that Shri Harivansh Ji has been blessed with a humble mind and a big heart. It shows his greatness. I join the people of India in congratulating Harivansh Ji,” Modi tweeted.


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  1. Harivansh was editor of Prabhat Khabar, the paper that broke the fodder scam and got Lalu jailed. He has always been close to Nitish and reason why he quit journalism to take up a RS seat from JDS. He is now a full fledged politician playing the Bihari victim card while he is actually anything close to what Lohia, JP or other socialist stalwarts stood for. People with lack of any history would love this narrative peddling and drama by Harivansh whose last name Singh should now be rightfully attached to his newfound Bihari identity.

  2. While he claims that the chair of the Dy Chairman of the rajya sabha is important etc etc, he is using the same chair to play dirty cheap politics. Just goes on to prove that once a politician, always a politician. Cheap and dirty politics become de rigeur. There is no institution or constitutional post that this govt has not corrupted completely for their desire to cling to absolute power. Disgusting to say the least

  3. Commendable self control by deputy chairman of Rajyasabha.

    The deputy chairman of Rajyasabha should be provided Z+ security in view of threat he faces.

  4. Its shameful how opposition has been behaving recently… We still haven’t forgot anti-CAA protests and now this. What is happening to the democracy of India? Why is opposition not respecting the democracy of India! What a shame!

    • Yaar! Opposition is not behaving sensibly?What a great sense of humor. Inspired by Godi media!
      This government which has trampled upon every institution, destroyed economy, disturbed the social fabric ,created monstrous misinformation machine, created PM cares which can’t be audited, Electoral bond which can not be investigated is innocent and opposition is to be blamed. Thoda toh soch le bhai!

  5. Here comes the new Gandhi Bhakt ….preaching Gandhism from th RSS camp ??? Where you had been when your compatriots went berserk in Parliament and RS during UPA rule ??? You are a tool of Modi & Co. for the ensuing Bihar pole!1Do you knlw that ???

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