Winter Session of Parliament | Opposition to discuss boycotting entire session or continuing protests on agenda

#Current Affairs, #India, #minimum support price (MSP), #Opposition, #Politics, #The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, #Winter Session of Parliament, Lok Sabha for the day, Hindustan Times, Indian Express

File image: Parliament

The Opposition parties in the Parliament will decide whether to boycott the entire Winter Session of Parliament or continue their protests during House proceedings, at its meeting to discuss the strategy for the Winter Session on November 30, the second day of the session.

The meeting comes a day after the bill repealing farm laws was passed in both the Houses of Parliament without debate and suspension of 12 Opposition Rajya Sabha members for ‘misconduct’ in the last session.

READ: 12 Opposition MPs suspended for ‘unprecedented acts of misconduct’ in last session of Parliament

Soon after the suspension, the government reportedly held back-channel talks with the members of Opposition parties to find an amicable solution but to no avail.

The session resumes in both Houses on November 30, a day after repeated adjournments in both Houses amid opposition protests. The government has listed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020, and the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021, in Lok Sabha for the day.

The Opposition parties are scheduled to meet before the Parliament proceedings begin. The Trinamool Congress, which will skip the Congress-led meeting, has called for a separate meeting to decide its next course of action. While six of the suspended MPs were from Congress, two were from TMC.

Also, read: No proposal to recognise Bitcoin as currency: FM Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament

These 12 Opposition Rajya Sabha MPs were suspended from the remaining part of the ongoing Winter Session of the Parliament. The lawmakers have been penalised for “unprecedented acts of misconduct” and “violent behavior” in the Monsoon Session of Parliament held earlier in 2021.

Opposition floor leaders met in the chamber of Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge soon after the suspension was announced on November 29.  Some leaders suggested that Kharge should meet Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and demand revocation of the suspension. Otherwise, the members which reportedly included some leaders from RJD and the Left, the Opposition should think of boycotting the entire session.

The boycott, however, will also depend on whether Opposition parties get a chance to demand a law to guarantee crop support in Parliament. The Opposition had demanded a debate on farm laws repeal bill which could not happen.

Also, read: Lok Sabha productivity drops to 22 percent, 76 hours lost to disruptions in Rajya Sabha in Monsoon Session

“We have received suggestions to boycott the session. But we have to talk to our respective parties before talking any collective decision,” Elamaram Kareem of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) told Hindustan Times. Kareem is one of the 12 MPs suspended.

Many leaders in the Congress, however, were dismissive of boycotting the entire session because, they felt, vacating space would be akin to giving the government a free run, according to a report in Indian Express.

The Opposition may also consider asking the suspended members to apologise and get the suspension revoked.

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