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Opposition protests rock Rajya Sabha over suspension of MPs

Source: PTI
December 14, 2021 15:59 IST
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The Rajya Sabha on Monday witnessed uproar by opposition parties for nearly an hour over their demand for revocation of the suspension of 12 MPs before Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned proceedings till 2 pm.

IMAGE: Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu conducts proceedings in the House during the Winter Session of Parliament. Photograph: PTI Photo
 

Amid sloganeering by members of opposition parties, including the Congress, with several of them trooping into the Well of the House, Naidu continued with the Zero Hour during which many MPs raised important issues.

The Chair did not permit members, who were in the Well of the House, to raise Zero Hour mentions. While most of the opposition parties were protesting, TMC member Sukhendu Sekhar Ray made his Zero Hour mention.

The Chairman made several attempts to pacify the protesting members and urged them to return to their respective seats. However, the opposition continued their sloganeering and protests, leading to adjournment of the proceedings at around 12 noon.

Referring to AAP member Sanjay Singh, the Chairman said: "You are compounding your offence.

Naidu instructed officials to send Singh out from the House, saying "he is challenging the Chair", just before adjourning the proceedings.

Soon after the listed papers were tabled in the House, and Naidu called for the Zero Hour mentions, the opposition started protesting. The Chairman made several efforts to bring order in the House.

Towards the end of the one-hour morning session (Zero Hour), the protests grew louder, and Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Mallikarjun Kharge tried to make his point.

"If everybody goes to their seats and sits peacefully, then LoP will be called," Naidu said.

He told the protesting members that their sloganeering and trooping in the Well would do no good to the cause of the 12 suspended MPs.

"You cannot dictate to me. With all humility I want to tell you, let us maintain decency and decorum in the House and this sort of pressure is not going work on me," said a visibly upset Naidu.

As many as 12 opposition MPs were suspended from the Rajya Sabha on November 29 for the entire Winter session of Parliament for their "unruly" conduct in the previous session in August, even as the Opposition termed the suspension as "undemocratic and in violation of all the Rules of Procedure" of the Upper House.

Amid the din, Naidu said he had discussed the matter with Leader of the House Piyush Goyal and also with Kharge.

Naidu said he was informed that the government was willing to consider the opposition case if the suspended MPs express "regret" on their conduct.

"That is the position. You know I cannot go beyond that," he said.

He told the protesting MPs that by engaging in unruly scenes, unparliamentary behaviour, and obstructing other members is not going to work at all.

"You are not going to help them. Please understand, if you want to strengthen their hands, be in your respective seats, follow the rule and then plead their case or your case.

"Then that can be taken into consideration. But if you violate rules, if you use slogans and then you do all sort of things, and sit on the well of the House, you cannot expect anybody to respond to that," the Chairman said.

Naidu also praised MPs who spoke on various issues.

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