Naidu criticised the 12 suspended MPs, saying that their behaviour in the House during monsoon session was an “act of sacrilege” since the Parliament is the “temple of democracy”. He defended the decision to suspend them stating that the lawmakers have not expressed any remorse, rather they were justifying their actions.
As he turned down the appeal of leader of opposition (LoP) M Mallikarjun Kharge saying the appeal is “not worth considering”, Congress and most other opposition party MPs staged a walkout from the Upper House. However, in an indication of the faultlines in the opposition camp, Trinamool MPs walked out a short while later after Derek O’Brien said it’s not the opposition, but 80 NDA MPs who should be suspended for blocking discussions.
Earlier, raising the issue of the suspended MPs, Kharge said the motion for suspension moved by the government had been in “gross violation” of the procedure with the Chair not even allowing his point of order. He urged Naidu to set aside the suspension. Rejecting the charge that he suddenly permitted parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi to move a resolution as anti-democratic, Naidu said, “Action has been taken to protect democracy”.
The day saw both sides trading charges and accusing each other of short-circuiting parliamentary norms and procedures, but some of the ice was broken at a meeting of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla with floor leaders in the evening. The opposition leaders are understood to have agreed to participate in discussions from Wednesday though TRS remains determined to raise the demand for a law on minimum support prices by entering the well. The likely situation in Rajya Sabha is not clear.
“..the august House is being subjected to sacrilege and that too propelled by a sense of competition among some sections of the House since the commencement of monsoon session. Everything said or done, violating, hurting and destroying the sacredness of any place amounts to an act of sacrilege…Entering this sanctum sanctorum of the House, in itself is an act of sacrilege and it has been happening quite often in a routine manner,” Naidu said on Tuesday.
He also rejected arguments that the suspended MPs had not been named earlier citing that 33 members who had violated norms were indeed named, and this included the 12 members. Naidu flagged some members disrupted House proceedings for 17 days during the monsoon session. On the issue of bills being passed in din, the Chairman said, “You create din and then you don’t participate. I have the list.”
Lok Sabha proceedings were disrupted on Tuesday and the House was adjourned till 2 pm soon after it met at 11 am, amid opposition protests over various issues. Speaker Om Birla’s repeated pleas to run the House were ignored when TRS members shouted slogans and displayed placards standing in the well while other opposition members, including from Congress and Left parties, sought to raise some issues from their seats.
In signs of a deepening rift between the government and the opposition, essentially over the expulsion of 12 members from the Upper House, Congress, NCP, DMK and Left parties walked out of the House alleging that the government was suppressing the voice of the opposition. The TMC MPs however did not walk out along with the rest of the opposition just as in Rajya Sabha.
At 2 pm when the House met again, the same demand from TRS members in the well saw A Raja, who was in the Chair adjourning House till 3pm and a similar scene was repeated when it reopened at 3, at which the House was adjourned for the day.