Amid the continuing opposition protests about the suspension of 12 parliamentarians from the Rajya Sabha, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday called the suspension as “crushing the voice of the people” and said that the opposition was not being allowed to raise any issues in Parliament.
Earlier in the day, opposition MPs from both Houses marched from Parliament to Vijay Chowk, asking for the suspension to be repealed. Gandhi made the remarks at Vijay Chowk after the march.
“Suspension of 12 MPs is a symbol of the crushing of the voice of people of India. Their voices have been crushed. They have done nothing wrong. We are not allowed to discuss important issues in Parliament,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
Further, he criticised the government saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not present in the House during the proceedings. “Bill after Bill is being passed in Parliament in the din. This is not the way to run Parliament. The Prime Minister does not come to the House. We are not allowed to raise any issue of national importance. It is the unfortunate killing of democracy,” he said.
He said that the Prime Minister and the Rajya Sabha chairman were “implementors” of a “power” that wanted to steal the farmers’ income. “A minister killed farmers. The Prime Minister is aware of it. Truth is that 2-3 capitalists are against farmers… These MPs were not suspended by the Rajya Sabha chairman or the Prime Minister but by the power that wants to steal farmers’ income. The Prime Minister and the chairman are just implementers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha resumed, after disruptions and a walkout by the opposition parties, at 2pm. Union parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi called upon the opposition MPs to return to the House and said the government was ready for a discussion on any matter.
Regarding the suspension, Joshi said that the government was in talks with the suspended MPs individually. “The government is in talks with them (suspended MPs) at an individual level for withdrawal of their suspension. I have made it clear that they should at least express regret,” news agency ANI quoted the minister as saying.
On November 29, the first day of Winter Session, 12 opposition MPs were suspended from the Upper House for their “unruly” behaviour during the previous Monsoon Session in August, despite continued criticism from the opposition.