Soon after four of its MPs were suspended for the rest of the session for disrupting proceedings in Lok Sabha, the Congress on Monday said the government was trying to “intimidate” it, and asserted that the party would not cow down.
Four Congress MPs — Manickam Tagore, TN Prathapan, Jothimani and Ramya Haridas — were suspended from the Lok Sabha for the rest of the session for displaying placards and disrupting proceedings despite a warning by Speaker Om Birla.
Speaking to reporters along with the four suspended MPs, Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi said, “The government is trying to intimidate us by suspending our MPs. What was their fault? They were trying to raise the issues which matter to people.”
The Congress party will not be cowed down like this, he asserted. “The MPs were holding placards raising the issues of rise in prices of gas cylinder, imposition of GST on items such as flour and buttermilk. We moved an adjournment motion demanding a discussion on these issues, but no discussion was held,” he said.
Tagore, one of the suspended MPs, said for the past six days, the Congress has been demanding a discussion on price rise, giving notices for adjournment motion but the government has shown “complete arrogance”.
“Today, when a tribal woman has taken oath as President, a Dalit woman has been suspended from Lok Sabha,” he said. Tagore also alleged that the BJP only wants Parliament to cheer its leaders and its victory. “We were trying to show placards in the House and place them in the camera angles. They say placards are not allowed in Parliament… what is allowed is only cheering for Modi ji,” he said. The government only hears the voice of the fourth-richest man in the world and not the common man, Tagore alleged.
Opposition MPs kept raising slogans against the Centre protesting over issues of price hike, GST-related issues and inflation in the Lok Sabha.
“I urge the members to stop bringing placards into the House. The government is ready to hold a discussion,” said Speaker Om Birla.
“Any member who brings a placard into the House will not be allowed to take part in House proceedings. This is a temple of democracy, it is the responsibility of the members to maintain the dignity of the House.
Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 4 pm amid ruckus by Opposition members, seeking a discussion on price rise.
Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh said no discussion on inflation would be allowed in the House. He said the House can take up Calling Attention Motion on situations arising out of rising cases of post-Covid complications.
Harivansh said one hour would be allotted for discussions but as per rules, speakers can only speak about issues linked to only COVID.
Union minister Piyush Goyal accused Opposition of not wanting to have any discussion in Parliament.
NCP’s Fauzia Khan said: “There are several issues that are more pressing and need discussion, such as price rise and related unrest. But Harivansh says there is no permission for any such discussion.”
Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned till noon on Friday (July 22) as Opposition parties led by the Congress tried to raise issues of price rise and levy of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on daily essentials.
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