Cong MPs' suspension unites oppn, 9 parties to boycott House

Cong MPs' suspension unites oppn, 9 parties to boycott House

Cong MPs' suspension unites oppn, 9 parties to boycott House
The suspension of 25 Congress MPs from Lok Sabha has united the opposition with at least nine other parties deciding to boycott House proceedings for next five days, in protest against the action.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Indian Union Muslim League, and Left parties have conveyed their decision to boycott the House for the next five days, Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said.

"The party is also in talks with the Samajwadi Party over the issue," he told PTI. Congress MPs will stage a dharna in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament Complex tomorrow to protest against the suspension. Members of other parties are likely to join the protest.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi dubbed the suspension as "a Black Day for India and Democracy", while Kharge said the action was way too "harsh" as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had also resorted to such protests when she was part of the Opposition in the last Lok Sabha.

Kharge said, "Like in Gujarat the opposition members used to get suspended, similar thing is happening here. It is the Gujarat model which is being implemented."

"Their (BJP's) policy of muzzling dissent has now reached the temple of democracy. It's a dangerous precedent. Our resolve to fight it has got stronger," said Ahmed Patel, political secretary to the Congress President.

Leader of the TMC parliamentary party Sudeep Bandopadhyay said that his party too has decided to oppose the suspension in the greater interest of parliamentary democracy.

"...Sonia Gandhi and Malikarjun Kharge requested us for support. We discussed it with our leader Mamata Banerjee and it was decided to support the Congress over the suspension of 25 Congress MPs. This was necessary for good and healthy parliamentary democracy. We are not attending the session for next five days," Bandopadhyay said.

NCP's Tariq Anwar said the action shows BJP veteran L K Advani's apprehensions that emergency can return could be "coming true as we are moving toward black days". NCP MP Supriya Sule said suspension of 25 MPs was way too much and that Gandhi would also hold talks with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Aam Aadmi Party too said it will join other opposition parties in boycotting the session for next five days.

Lok Sabha Speaker Mahajan today suspended 25 Congress members for five days for "persistently, wilfully obstructing" the House". The MPs have been carrying placards and shouting slogans in the Well while pressing for resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over Lalit Modi row and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over Vyapam scam.