Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs staged a protest near the Gandhi statue on the Parliament’s premises on Friday, against the opposition members’ “unruly behaviour” over the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha members. Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the Opposition, said on Wednesday that no apology will be extended by any of the suspended members over their conduct during the monsoon session.
“There will be no apology. We are requesting them to forget what happened and work on the welfare of the people and the country,” ANI quoted Kharge as saying. The Congress leader’s outburst came a day after he wrote to the Vice President of India and Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu, requesting him to reconsider the suspensions of the 12 MPs “in the larger interest of parliamentary democracy” and revoke them. Kharge termed the suspension of the 12 Opposition MPs as “against the Constitution”. He said, “It is our duty to fight for the cause under the rule of law.”
While the Opposition continued its protest near the Mahatma Gandhi statue, the BJP also staged a protest at the site. An adjournment motion was moved by Congress member Manickam Tagore earlier in the day to discuss the Lakhimpur Kheri incident and Ajay Kumar Mishra’s removal as the Minister of State for Home Affairs. Ajay Kumar Mishra has reportedly been demoted following the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, as per ANI.
Despite continuous protests by the Opposition, the Dam Safety Bill, 2019 was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. In response, several opposition parties have accused the Centre of infringing upon states’ rights regarding the issue, while Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat has rejected the charges. A marathon debate on the COVID-19 pandemic was held in the Lok Sabha, during which, many topics including the Omicron variant, booster doses, the third COVID-19 wave, and vaccination for all eligible populations, were discussed.
A total of 74 members participated in the debate, while other members laid a copy of their speeches on the table of the house. “We are here to highlight the dichotomy and the duplicity of the opposition parties,” said BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao.
After bringing in a motion on the very first day, the ruling dispensation suspended the 12 MPs for the remainder of the winter session, including six Congress MPs, two members each of the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Shiv Sena, and one member each from the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the CPI (Marxist). They were suspended for alleged unruly conduct during the monsoon session when marshals were called in to control the Opposition members who stormed the Well of the House while the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 was being debated.