Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Suspended MPs begin 50-hr protest

Twenty suspended Rajya Sabha members Wednesday started a 50-hour relay protest inside the Parliament complex, with sources saying the Opposition declined the Chairman’s offer that they express regret over their members’ behaviour in the House to get the suspension revoked.
The MPs are holding the protest near the Gandhi statue and will stay at the site through night, said Trinamool Congress’ Dola Sen, who is one of the suspended
The 20 MPs, suspended over Monday and Tuesday, include seven from the TMC, six from the DMK, three from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), two from Communist Party of India (Marxist) and one each from Communist Party of India (CPI) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The Nationalist Congress Party and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha who have no members suspended will also join the protests, sources said.
While the Congress and other Opposition parties were protesting at different venues in the morning, by the evening, it seemed they had come together on the issue of price rise.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh visited the site of the protests and said his party will be part of the day-night dharna organised by the other Opposition parties. The CPI, whose one member has been suspended, said in a statement the suspension is an assault on the basic rights of freedom of expression of members of Parliament.
Opposition sources also said feelers from the “other side” has indicated that there is a view within the government that suspending 19 opposition MPs at one go in Rajya Sabha was a wrong strategic move and should have been avoided.
With the suspension of the MPs in RS concluding on Friday, a discussion on price rise will be taken up after that.
Sources in the Opposition also said a detailed plan of action has been drawn out for the dharna and a roster of duties created which is being circulated on a dedicated WhatsApp group.
The leaders, however, will have to sleep under the sky, with their request of a tent being denied by the authorities, as no structures can be built, even temporarily inside the premises. The protesting MPs can, however, use the toilet in the bathroom of the Parliament library.


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