MPs' suspension: Opposition MPs walk out of Parliament

MPs' suspension: Opposition MPs walk out of Parliament in protest

The decision to abstain from Rajya Sabha if suspension was not revoked was taken at a meeting of 16 Opposition parties

Opposition members walk out of the Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi. Credit: PTI photo

Opposition MPs walked out from Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on Tuesday over the suspension of 12 MPs in the Upper House for the entire Winter Session even as Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu justified the action while Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge found "gross violation" of procedures and "selective" punishment.

MPs from Opposition benches in Rajya Sabha did not return to the House after the walk-out following rejection of their demand by Naidu, who said their request was "not worth considering", and held a protest near Gandhi Statue in Parliament while Lok Sabha MPs, who left the House, returned later. Trinamool MPs neither joined the protests nor walked out in Lok Sabha.

Led by Congress, MPs from DMK,CPI(M), AAP, RJD and others walked out first but Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party did not join them. After a few minutes, Trinamool and SP walked out announcing their protest.

Congress described the suspension as "unprecedented and undemocratic" while Trinamool Congress said the ones who were to be suspended were the BJP MPs as they blocked discussions during the Monsoon session.

Read | Can't forgive suspended MPs without an apology: Goyal

The decision to abstain from Rajya Sabha if suspension was not revoked was taken at a meeting of 16 Opposition parties, barring Trinamool which took the decision separately. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge also led a delegation to Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu seeking revocation of suspension and sources said Naidu told them that it may not be possible without proper functioning of the House and a sincere regret for their misconduct.

As soon as Rajya Sabha assembled, Kharge sought the revocation of suspension citing "gross procedural violations". He said his demand for raising a Point of Order was not allowed by Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was on the Chair when the motion for suspension was moved.

He said a member to be suspended has to be named first but that was not done, a charge rejected by Naidu who said the names appeared in the bulletin of Rajya Sabha after they were named.

"It was done selectively. Some MPs who have nothing to do with the incidents were suspended," Kharge said as he described the suspensions as "unprecedented and undemocratic.

Emphasising that the motion was "moved, it is approved, action is taken, it is final", Naidu said, adding, "I don't think the appeal (to revoke suspension) is worth considering. I am not considering it at all."

He was not considering Kharge's appeal as the suspended MPs have not shown any remorse for the "sacrilege of the House", but on the contrary, justified their acts. "You try to mislead the House, you disturb the House, you ransacked the table, you also threw papers on the chair and also some of them got on to the table and then you are giving me lessons. This is not the way," he added.

Rejecting Kharge's contentions of action being taken on deeds done in the last session, Naidu said Rajya Sabha is a "continuing institution" and the Chairman of the House is empowered to suspend members for unruly conduct under rules 256, 259, 266 and other residuary powers.

Soon after, Opposition MPs objected to Naidu's announcement and Kharge announced the walk-out. A few minutes later, Trinamool Congress floor leader Derek O'Brien was allowed to speak and it was when the party announced its protest and walk-out.

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