New Delhi, Sept 22: A number of opposition parties staged a strike by Rajya Sabha on Tuesday and decided to boycott House proceedings until the eight-member suspension was revoked, even as the government insisted on his apologies.
Among the parties that boycotted House proceedings were Congress, which was among the first to withdraw, followed by members of the CPI-M, CPI, TMC, NCP, SP, Shiv Sena, RJD, DMK, TRS and AAP. .
Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said he would boycott the process until the suspension of members is revoked and also demanded that the government introduce another bill to ensure that no private actor should buy food grains from farmers below the government’s PSM.
“I demand that the government present another bill to the House that should ensure that no private actor can buy food grains from farmers below the MSP. ensure that all purchases made by central governments, state governments and the FCI are not made below the MSP.
“Colleagues who have been suspended for the remainder of the session, their suspension will be revoked. As long as the government does not do these three things, we will boycott the session,” he told the House on leaving.
Eight members of Rajya Sabha were suspended Monday for their “unruly behavior” when passing the two main farm bills on Sunday.
Azad also said members should be given more time to speak and that time constraints have become a major issue of discontent among opposition parties.
He said the meaning of the House should not mean simple numbers, but by political parties, 18 political parties demanding on the one hand more time.
While claiming that the voice of the opposition and members’ rights are not being heard and that bills are not sent for review to the select committee or standing committees, Azad said: “I think the forward – yesterday was the last straw that broke the back of the Camel. ”
The Congress leader said the government now wants “a nation, a market” with which it has no problem.
“The government earlier said ‘one nation, one tax’, then ‘one nation, one ration card’, but for goodness sake don’t go ‘one nation, one party’.
Chairman Venkaiah Naidu lamented the chairman had been drawn into controversy and said members should not blame the chairman.
Naidu reiterated its appeal to members of all opposition parties to rethink their decision to boycott the proceedings and participate in the House discussions.
“I call on all members to rethink their decision to boycott and participate in the discussion,” he said.
The president said democracy is debate, discussion and decision, not disruption.
He also lamented that members suspended during an interview justify their action and did not show any remorse.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said: “The government is not determined to keep MPs suspended out of the chamber.”
“If they express regret, the government will look into the matter,” he said at the request of some members for their suspension to be revoked and the government to have a big heart.
House leader Thaawarchand Gehlot said the suspended MPs tried to show it was the president’s mistake, not the opposition.
“This is not correct. Everyone condemns the incident that day and says it is sad. LoP also called it sad but he tried to prove it by saying against the president, that the chair made the wrong decision. It is not correct. I want this on the record: I have 35 years of parliamentary experience, I have not seen such a sad incident in my life.
“Break microphones, sit on a table, show Harivansh Ji your hand, climb the table, tear up the regulations and the copy of the bill. It is a bad and sad situation. The OTP allegation on the presidency is not justifiable. The president’s decision is supreme, his disrespect is not appropriate, “he said.
Former prime minister and JDS leader HD Deve Gowda said the government and opposition should sit together to rule the House.
Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) said: “A mistake has been made by members of the opposition, but the elders should have a big heart. I urge their suspension to be revoked and I apologize on their behalf.”
K Keshava Rao (TRS) said everything that happened in the House is reprehensible and “we are sorry”. Tiruchi Siva said opposition members got agitated after the president did not allow division of votes.
Ram Chandra Prasad SIngh (JDU) said: “What was their intention as they tore up papers and threw at Harivash babu. The division can only take place when there is order.”
They showed aggression towards Harivash, he said, adding: “It is his decency (Harivansh) that no untoward incident happened. It is not good. They disobeyed, organized the dharna as if they were fighting for the freedom of the country. This should not be forgiven. “.
Praful Patel (NCP) said his party had never entered the well or done anything that was not in the best parliamentary traditions.
“We maintain a certain decorum in the House. Whatever happens, even if it is unfortunate.”
“In the best traditions of parliamentary democracy … you could consider and withdraw the suspension. This will go a long way to increasing the trust gap between the ruling party and the opposition,” he said.
Those suspended include Derek O’Brien (TMC), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Rajeev Satav (Cong), KK Ragesh (CPI-M), Syed Nazir Hussain (Cong), Ripun Boren (Cong), Dola Sen (TMC) and Elamaram Kareem (CPI-M).