Kharge appeals to VP Naidu to revoke MPs' suspension

Revoke MPs' suspension in larger interest of Parliamentary democracy: Kharge to Naidu

The letter came as Naidu told RS that he did not think that the appeal to revoke suspension that came up in the House was worth considering'

Leader of the Opposition Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge speaks in the House during the Winter Session of Parliament. Credit: PTI Photo

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday shot off a letter to Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, urging him to revoke the "unprecedented, excessive" action of suspending 12 MPs in the "larger interest" of Parliamentary democracy.

In his two-page letter on behalf of Opposition parties, Kharge said the aggrieved MPs were not given an opportunity to be heard and there were procedural anomalies in the process.

He said it was his "considered view" that the suspension of these members was an "unprecedented excessive action for the unfortunate incidents" on the last days of the Monsoon Session this August.

In view of the "anomalies and the denial of the right to be heard to the aggrieved members as per the principles of natural justice, I urge you to reconsider the matter of suspension of 12 MPs in the larger interest of Parliamentary democracy and revoke the suspension. We very much want the House to function smoothly", he said.

The letter came as Naidu told Rajya Sabha that he did not think that the appeal to revoke suspension that came up in the House was "worth considering" and that he was "not considering it at all".

Kharge highlighted the "anomalies" in the procedure that followed the suspension. He said it was "wrong to assume" that the motion was passed by the House as the entire Opposition was opposed to the motion moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.

Read | MPs' suspension: Opposition MPs walk out of Parliament

Therefore, he said, it cannot be the "consensus of the House just because of the majority of the ruling party".

He also said the members were denied any opportunity to present their case and one of the suspended MPs was not referred to in the bulletin dated August 11. "As per the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, this action of suspension has to be preceded by the naming of the members under the provisions of Rule 256(1)," he said.

Though he did not name the MP, suspended CPI(M) floor leader Elamaram Kareem told reporters that his name was not in the list of MPs named in the bulletin.

Kharge also said that as per Article 83 of the Constitution, the Rajya Sabha is a continuous House unlike Lok Sabha but for the functioning of the House, each session is summoned by the President and thereafter is adjourned sine die and subsequently prorogued at the end.

He said the Monsoon Session was prorogued on August 31, after it was adjourned sine die on August 11. "If the House had only been adjourned and then reconvened without any prorogation, the argument of continuity would merit any justification," Kharge said in apparent reference to Naidu's remarks in the House while rejecting the demand for revoking the suspension.

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