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Allow people to express their views, says Shashi Tharoor as Opposition MPs protest against suspension

Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned as the Opposition and Centre have locked horns after the suspension of the 12 members

Winter Session of Parliament: Allow people to express their views, says Shashi Tharoor as Opposition MPs protest against suspension

Leaders of the Opposition protest near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament premises. ANI

It seems that the suspension of the 12 Rajya Sabha members will continue to affect Parliament proceedings.

The third day of the Winter Session of Parliament began with protests and chants.

On Wednesday, the suspended MPs sat near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Parliament to register their protest.

Earlier, on Tuesday too, the members of the Opposition had sat on dharna to protest the suspension of the 12 Rajya Sabha members after M Venkaiah Naidu had refused to revoke their suspension.

Leader of Opposition Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge speaking to news agency ANI, said, “We are demanding the revocation of suspension of 12 Opposition members of the Rajya Sabha. We will hold a meeting and decide the future course of action.”

Expressing solidarity with the protesting members, Congress’ Shashi Tharoor also said, “Centre has to realise that in this country other voices deserve to be heard. Parliament is for debate and discussion, you’ve to allow people to express their views, only then can you truly run a democratic Parliament.”

Earlier in the day, Union minister Pralhad Joshi, it was reported, had invited Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for debate over bills tabled in Parliament. He said that discussion should be held in Parliament. He said if suspended Rajya Sabha MPs want to participate, they should apologise. “I urge them to express remorse… We also want a debate,” he said.

Meanwhile, inside the Parliament, scenes of ruckus and chaos ensued, forcing Rajya Sabha to be adjourned till afternoon.

Lok Sabha was no better, where Opposition MPs raised slogans of ‘We want justice’ during the Question Hour in the House. Later, Congress and DMK MPs stormed out of the Lower House, forcing an adjournment till 12 pm.

The Opposition has also been taking on the Centre over the issues of farmers’ welfare and compensation in the lower house.

On Tuesday, the Centre said that it had no data pertaining to either cases against or the number of farmers who died during the year-long agitation demanding repeal of the three contentious farm laws and hence there was no question of providing financial assistance to anyone.

This came as Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar was asked about ‘Agitation of Farm Laws’ raised by a bunch of MPs in the Lok Sabha.

For those wondering what’s all the hullabaloo all about, 12 Opposition MPs of the Rajya Sabha, including Congress MP Chhaya Verma, Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi and TMC’s Dola Sen, were suspended on Monday for the remaining part of the winter session for their misconduct and unruly behaviour during the last session.

Among the suspended members, six are from the Congress, two each from the TMC and Shiv Sena and one each from the CPM and the CPI.

The Upper House had witnessed ugly scenes when the opposition members were protesting against the three farm bills during the Monsoon session.

With inputs from agencies

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