Oppn say it is an attack on democratic rights
Demonstrations, dharnas or religious ceremonies cannot be held in the precincts of Parliament House, a circular by the Rajya Sabha secretariat has said, drawing ire from the Opposition on Friday.
The Rajya Sabha secretariat has said that the circular has not been issued for the first time and such advice has been reiterated from time to time.
The secretariat also provided copies of the similar circular issued during the Congress-led UPA regime in 2013 and said such circulars are being issued for many years now.
The bulletin, issued ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament beginning July 18, said the kind cooperation of members is solicited.
“Members cannot use the precincts of the Parliament House for any demonstration, dharna, strike, fast, or for the purpose of performing any religious ceremony,” the bulletin said. Reacting strongly to the circular, the opposition parties attacked the government. Congress general secretary and chief whip of the party in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh was among the first ones to take to Twitter to attack the government.
“Vishguru’s latest salvo – D(h)arna Mana Hai!,” he tweeted, sharing a copy of the circular issued on July 14. NCP president Sharad Pawar slammed the decision of prohibiting demonstrations and dharnas in the precincts of Parliament House, calling it an attack on democratic rights of elected representatives.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury also took to Twitter to criticise the government and alleged that these are attempts to muzzle the voice of democracy. After the opposition uproar over the circular, Speaker Birla told reporters that political parties should refrain from making allegations without ascertaining the facts.
The circular comes amid opposition outrage over another bulletin listing out certain words as “unparliamentary” which was issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat.