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Suspended Rajya Sabha MPs reject Centre’s ‘truce’ offer, to continue 50-hour dharna outside Parliament

Union Parliamentary Affairs minister Prahlad Joshi on Wednesday said that the suspension of the MPs can be revoked only if they apologise and vow not to protest in the well of the House and display placards during proceedings.

Suspended Rajya Sabha MPs reject Centre’s ‘truce’ offer, to continue 50-hour dharna outside Parliament
The Monsoon Session of the Parliament, which began ten days back, has witnessed a near washout with several opposition MPs disrupting the House and staging walkouts over myriad issues ranging from inflation to GST rate hikes to the misuse of central agencies by the government. (ANI)

Equations between the Treasury and Opposition benches in Parliament hit a new low on Wednesday with the suspension of AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh from the Upper House for the remainder of the week for disrupting the proceedings of the House. Sanjay SIngh’s suspension was the 24th in this week alone. On Wednesday night, 20 suspended Rajya Sabha MPs decided to sit on a 50-hour long dharna in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue inside the Parliament complex.

Of the 20 MPs suspended over the last two days, seven belong to the Trinamool Congress (TMC), six from the DMK, three from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), two from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and one each from the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Union Parliamentary Affairs minister Prahlad Joshi on Wednesday said that the suspension of the MPs can be revoked only if they apologise and vow not to protest in the well of the House and display placards during proceedings. The offer, however, has been rejected by the Opposition MPs  The Monsoon Session of the Parliament, which began ten days back, has witnessed a near washout with several opposition MPs disrupting the House and staging walkouts over myriad issues ranging from inflation to GST rate hikes to the misuse of central agencies by the government. “We have been maintaining that the government is ready for discussion on price rise and today Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman resumed her office after recovering from Covid,” Joshi said.

Reacting to Joshi’s call for apology, TMC MP Mausam Noor, one of the suspended parliamentarians, told news agency ANI, “There is no question of apologising. We want to have discussions on price rise in Parliament but we were suspended. Our 50-hour long protest will continue outside.”

“We will not apologise as we haven’t done anything wrong. We’ve raised the issue of common people. The country is suffering from price rise and raising that issue is not wrong,” another suspended TMC MP Shanta Chhetri told ANI.

Congress Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore, who was suspended from the Lower House on Tuesday for the rest of week along with three other Congress MPs, told ANI, “We, Congress Lok Sabha MPs, are showing our solidarity with Rajya Sabha Opposition MPs who have been, in batches, protesting against the suspension of Oppn MPs.”

“I want the Modi govt & the Parliamentary Affairs Minister to apologize to the people of Gujarat. BJP has been ruling there for 27 years, several people died in the state after drinking spurious liquor. I wanted to have discussions on this issue in Parliament,” said AAP MP Sanjay Singh.

“It’s our right to raise issues in parliament. When we don’t even get a chance, some cause ruckus. Back when the BJP was in the Opposition, they would say that creating ruckus is also part and parcel of democracy. Now, they’re asking us to apologise,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge told ANI.

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