The Rajya Sabha has lost 52.5 per cent of the scheduled sitting time during the first week of the ongoing Winter Session that concluded last Friday on account of “disruptions and forced adjournments”.
On Friday last week, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu discussed with some opposition leaders and ministers and urged both sides to further discuss their stated views on the suspension of 12 members of the House in the wake of the demand of Opposition for it’s revocation.
12 opposition MPs were suspended from the Rajya Sabha on Monday for the entire Winter Session of Parliament for their “unruly” conduct in the previous session in August. The Opposition has termed the suspension as “undemocratic and in violation of all the Rules of Procedure” of the Upper House.
The suspended MPs include six from the Congress, two each from the Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena, and one each from the CPI and CPI(M). They have been holding day-long protests in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue inside the Parliament complex and have decided to continue to do so every day till their suspension is revoked.
Leader of the House Piyush Goyal on Friday said how can there be a reconciliation when these members are unwilling to apologise for their unruly behaviour in the previous session.
The issue came up in the House when RJD leader Manoj Kumar Jha said in the Rajya Sabha that some BJP members “gatecrashed” the site in Parliament complex where the 12 suspended members were staging an agitation. “Gatecrashing amounts to taking away the democratic values,” Jha said.
The government said it may consider revoking the suspension of Rajya Sabha MPs if they apologise to the House. However, the Opposition remained firm on its stand saying there was no question of tendering apology and called the action on them as an attempt to muzzle their voice.
On Thursday, Naidu said while the Opposition was calling the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs as “undemocratic”, it was not speaking a word on the reason why the action was taken against them, which he termed as “acts of sacrilege”.
“Some respected leaders and members of this August House, in their wisdom, chose to describe the suspension of 12 members as ‘undemocratic’. I have struggled to understand if there was any justification in that kind of a narrative being propagated but could not,” said Naidu.
“While calling this suspension as undemocratic both within and outside the House, not even a word being said about reasons given for suspension, the disdainful conduct of some members during last session, which I have categorically called as ‘acts of sacrilege’,” the Rajya Sabha chairman added.