I.N.D.I.A bloc MPs to hold dharna at Jantar Mantar on Dec 22 amid Oppn protests against mass suspensions

Friday's demonstrations will be the first joint I.N.D.I.A protest action after the parties started joining hands since May this year.
Last Updated : 20 December 2023, 15:34 IST

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New Delhi: Stepping up its attack on the Modi government, the I.N.D.I.A bloc on Wednesday announced a dharna by Opposition MPs in the national capital on Friday in protest against the suspension of an unprecedented 143 lawmakers during the ongoing Winter Session and Home Minister Amit Shah’s refusal to make a statement on the Parliament security breach.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the floor leaders of the I.N.D.I.A bloc chaired by Congress president and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge here. A plan to hold a ‘mock Parliament’ was shelved as the leaders felt it would be a logistical nightmare to organise back-to-back functions in a short span of time, sources said.

The decision to hold the protest by the MPs at Jantar Mantar, the dharna hotspot in the national capital, comes a day after top I.N.D.I.A leaders decided to hold demonstrations across the country against the suspension of MPs on December 22. This will be the first joint I.N.D.I.A protest action after the parties started joining hands since May this year.

The Parliament Winter Session has witnessed vociferous protests by I.N.D.I.A MPs over the refusal of their demand for a statement by Shah on security breach. On Wednesday, Rajya Sabha Opposition MPs staged a walkout and did not return to the House. “We boycotted the proceedings after the walkout,” a senior Opposition floor leader told DH.

The Opposition MPs are also likely to continue with the strategy in the House on Thursday also. A total of 144 out of 237 I.N.D.I.A MPs, including AAP’s Sanjay Singh who has remained suspended since the Monsoon Session, have been suspended from House.

At the floor leaders’ meeting, DMK MP T S Elango briefed the leaders about the three bills to replace Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and The Evidence Act. With the Lok Sabha passing the Bills on Wednesday, the Opposition is expecting it to come in Rajya Sabha on Thursday but they may not be participating in it.

Sources said with the numbers not on their side, especially after the suspensions, the Opposition is now mulling taking the legal route to challenge the Bills.

Published 20 December 2023, 15:34 IST

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