Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi came down heavily on the Modi government for suspending eight opposition members from the Upper House over protests on farm bills.
Gandhi tweeted shortly after the resolution on suspension, saying it was proof that the Centre was trying to mute “democratic India”.
“‘Muting Of Democratic India’ continues: by initially silencing and later, suspending MPs in the Parliament and turning a blind eye to farmers’ concerns on the black agriculture bills. This ‘omniscient’ Govt’s endless arrogance has brought economic disaster for the entire country,” Mr Gandhi tweeted.
’Muting Of Democratic India’ continues: by initially silencing and later, suspending MPs in the Parliament & turning a blind eye to farmers’ concerns on the black agriculture laws.
This ‘omniscient’ Govt’s endless arrogance has brought economic disaster for the entire country.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 21, 2020
Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’Brien, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Sanjay Singh, Congress’s Rajeev Satav and CPM’s KK Ragesh were among the eight MPs suspended on Monday morning for “unruly behavior” during the passing of controversial agriculture-related bills on Sunday.
Gandhi termed the agriculture bills as “black agriculture laws”, which, he said, were passed without listening to farmers’ concerns raised by the opposition MPs. Gandhi termed it as “proof of the endless arrogance of the government”.
Gandhi’s charge of “silencing” the opposition was aimed at Rajya Sabha deputy chairman, whom the opposition is accusing of “colluding with the ruling BJP” for the passage of the two controversial farm bills by parliament.
“Without taking the sense of the house, within a second the deputy chairman went for passing this bill. We didn’t see such a practice from any house so far. We didn’t understand such a movement from deputy chairman… The fundamental right of a member has been curtailed,” Congress Rajya Sabha member KC Venugopal said at a news briefing on Sunday evening.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, suspended eight lawmakers on Monday morning, saying the MPs displayed “unruly behavior especially with the Chair and gross disorderly conduct”. Naidu said the said members threw papers, wrenched mics away and “physically threatened” Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh and even abused him.
“I am pained at what happened yesterday. It defies logic. It is a bad day for Rajya Sabha,” Naidu said.
Rajya Sabha cleared the controversial bills related to farm sector on Sunday amidst furious protests from the opposition benches.
AAP’s Sanjay Singh and Congress leader Rajiv Satav climbed onto the Secretary General’s table at the centre of the house while Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien waved a rulebook in front of the Chairperson and tried to tear it up and some members pulled out mics at their seats amid the high drama, which led to a 10-minute adjournment of the house.
At one point, marshals formed a human chain between the Deputy Chairman and the furious MPs.
The farm bills, which have been cleared by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, will now go to the President for his approval before they become laws.