New Delhi/ Assam Sept 21-2020: Eight opposition MPs including Assam’s Congress MP Ripun Bora have been suspended for the remaining days of the monsoon session for “misconduct” in the Rajya Sabha. TMC’s Dola Sen, Sanjay Singh of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Congress leaders Rajeev Satav, and Syed Nasir Hussain and KK Ragesh and Elamaram Kareem of the CPI(M) are the others who have been suspended.
On Sunday, the Rajya Sabha passed two agricultural bills — Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services, 2020. These Bills will now be sent to President Ramnath Kovind for his nod.
The Rajya Sabha witnessed chaotic scenes after some slogan-shouting opposition members led by the Trinamool Congress climbed on to the chairperson’s podium demanding a discussion after the contentious Bills were passed by voice vote.
“I am pained at what happened yesterday. It defies logic. It is a bad day for Rajya Sabha,” said Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu, announcing the suspension.
He said the members threw papers, wrenched mics away, “physically threatened” Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh, and even abused him, during yesterday’s ruckus.
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till Tuesday after the suspended members refused to leave the House. The chair insisted that business could be taken up only after the 8 members suspended for a week under Rule 256(2) leave the House.
Meanwhile, the suspension of the opposition MPs has drawn a sharp reaction from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who said: “Suspension of the 8 MPs who fought to protect farmers’ interests is unfortunate and reflective of this autocratic govt’s mindset that doesn’t respect democratic norms and principles. We won’t bow down and we will fight this fascist govt in Parliament and on the streets.”
Former Congress President, Rahul Gandhi, commenting on this development, wrote, “Muting Of Democratic India’ continues: by initially silencing and later, suspending MPs in the Parliament & turning a blind eye to farmers’ concerns on the black agriculture laws. This ‘omniscient’ Govt’s endless arrogance has brought economic disaster for the entire country.”
Gaurav Gogoi, Lok Sabha MP from Assam, also took to Twitter to condemn the suspension of the Rajya Sabha MPs. “I condemn the suspension of RS MPs whose only demand was for the anti-farmer bill to be sent to the Parliament Select Committee. The BJP Government could have conceded to this legitimate demand. But the Emperor’s image and ego has to be protected. Even at the cost of democracy,” Gogoi wrote.