Sharad Pawar to hold daylong fast to express solidarity with 8 suspended Rajya Sabha opposition MPs

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Updated: Sep 22, 2020 1:45 PM

Congress and other opposition parties have announced a boycott of the Rajya Sabha for the rest of the session unless the suspension is revoked.

Harsimrat Kaur Badal had on September 17 quit the Union Cabinet after Sukhbir Badal strongly opposed the bills in Lok Sabha, claiming these legislations will "destroy" the agriculture sector in Punjab.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar has announced that he will hold one-day fast on Tuesday to express solidarity with eight Rajya Sabha members suspended for their unruly behaviour with Deputy Chairman Harivansh.

“I will not eat anything today in solidarity with the protesting members,” Pawar, who himself is a Rajya Sabha MP, said.

Pawar’s decision to observe fast comes hours after Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh said that he will fast for 24 hours to express his anguish over the unruly behaviour of opposition MPs with him in the House during the passing of the farm bills on Sunday. Harivansh said that his fast begins from Tuesday morning and will end on Wednesday on the birthday of ‘rashtra kavi’ Ramdhari Singh Dinkar.

“My fast may perhaps inspire ‘self-purification’ in those who behaved insultingly towards me,” he wrote in a letter addressed to Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu.

Harivansh was in the Chair on Sunday when the two farm bills were passed. The opposition MPs were demanding that the bills — Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, be sent to the Select Committee.

The opposition members created ruckus and climbed on to the Chairman’s podium, flung the rule book at Harivansh and tore official papers.

On Monday, Rajya Sabha Chairman suspended eight opposition MPs for the remainder of the Monsoon Session. The suspended MPs are Rajeev Satav, Syed Nazir Hussain Ripun Boren (all Congress), Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen (both TMC), KK Ragesh and Elamaram Kareem (both CPM) and AAP’s Sanjay Singh.

Meanwhile, the Congress and other opposition parties have announced a boycott of the Rajya Sabha for the rest of the session unless the suspension is revoked.

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