MPs' suspension: Oppn says rules broken, RS chair says due process has been followed

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congress, rajya sabha, opposition parties, dmk, m venkaiah naidu, mallikarjun kharge

Opposition parties raised the issue of suspension of 12 members in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, alleging that rules were breached while taking the decision and emphasised that they are not going to tender an apology. Congress, DMK and Left MPs staged a walkout when Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu reasoned that due process was followed.

Eight opposition leaders led by leader of the opposition Mallikarjun Kharge met Naidu and suggested that the Chair do a rethink on the suspension and revoke it. Sources said Naidu conveyed to them that this could be taken up only when the House is in order and the suspended members tender a sincere regret.

The opposition has maintained the members will not apologise though one suggestion was that Kharge can state that “let bygones be bygones” and such acts should not be repeated.

When the proceedings began on Tuesday, Kharge cited Rule 256(2) of Rules of Procedure and underlined that the government had flouted it. He said the Chair had not named the suspended members on August 11, 2021, when they had disrupted the House; that since the incident occurred in the last session, as per this rule, the members could have been suspended only for the remainder of that session.

Naidu countered these arguments, saying the decision to suspend the members is not his personal call but a collective decision of the House; that Rajya Sabha is a continuing institution and so acts of misconduct in the last session can be taken cognisance of in this session. He also mentioned the August 11 bulletin of the House which named 33 members for misconduct.

Congress, DMK and the Left walked out in protest.

With most of the opposition absent in the second half due to the walkout, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi suggested to the Chair that the Dam Safety Bill, 2019, be taken up for discussion on Wednesday so that opposition can participate.

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