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Published On: Tue, Sep 22nd, 2020

Suspended Oppn MPs, on indefinite protest, snub tea offer by Harivansh

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harivansh-21600747689276NEW DELHI : Rajya Sabha Deputy Chirman Harivansh met Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Sanjay Singh, Congress leaders Rajeev Satav, Ripun Bora and Syed Nasir Hussain, KK Ragesh and Elamaram Karim of the CPI(M). He was seen sitting on the ground and having tea with the MPs on the lawns near the Gandhi statue in the Parliament premises.
“Harivansh ji said he came to meet us as a colleague and not as the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha. He also brought some tea and snacks for us. We started this sit-in demonstration yesterday as a protest against our suspension. We have been here all night,” Bora said .
“No one from the government has come to enquire about us. Many opposition leaders came to enquire about us and to show solidarity with us. We are going to continue this demonstration,” Bora added.
The eight opposition MPs were suspended for a week by Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu for “unruly behavior” with deputy chairman Harivansh Singh. They had refused to leave the House after their suspension, which was adjourned several times amid opposition protest.
On Sunday, the Rajya Sabha had witnessed unruly scenes as opposition members stormed the well and reached the deputy chairman’s seat to protest against the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and passed by the Upper House through voice vote.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh Singh’s gesture of offering tea to suspended Opposition MPs who are on an indefinite protest in the Parliament complex since Monday.
“For centuries, the great land of Bihar has been teaching us the values of democracy. In line with that wonderful ethos, MP from Bihar and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Shri Harivansh Ji’s inspiring and statesman like conduct this morning will make every democracy lover proud,” tweeted PM Modi.
This morning, Harivansh offered tea to protesting Opposition lawmakers as the sit-in by them on Parliament premises continued for the second day. The suspended MPs spent the night in the lawns near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue.
AAP’s Sanjay Singh posted a picture on Twitter from the protest site in the morning and said that the “whole night was spent under the open sky in front of Bapu’s statue”.
The RS deputy chairman, the leaders said, came in bright and early with a posse of news cameras and was told by a senior MP to visit them without the cameras and sit with them.
“Another senior MP also told him that while bringing tea was a nice gesture, he was still in the wrong in what he did. He was told that he was the one who broke the rules,” a protesting MP told.
The protesting MPs did not accept the tea and snacks offered by the deputy chairman.Harivansh Singh has been in the thick of things since the suspension drama unfolded. The eight MPs were suspended for the remaining part of the current session over their “misbehavior” with the deputy chairman during the passage of the farm Bills on Sunday.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said Deputy Chairman Harivansh, an MP from Bihar, was physically threatened by opposition MPs on Sunday.
Naidu also rejected a notice for a no-confidence motion against the deputy chairman as it was not in proper format and a 14-day notice period was not given.
Opposition parties hit out at the government over the suspension of the Rajya Sabha MPs, with the Congress terming it “undemocratic” and “one-sided”.
The suspended MPs have vowed to continue their protest and are even likely to demand that they be allowed to attend the session.
The Monsoon Session is scheduled to end on October 1. However, the session is likely to be curtailed with several MPs testing positive for COVID-19.
(With Agency Inputs ).


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