Suspended opposition MPs end dharna in Parliament after Azad announces boycott of proceedings

Azad also demanded that the government brings a bill which should ensure private players don't procure food grains below the minimum support price (MSP)

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22

Suspended Rajya Sabha MPs from the Opposition on Tuesday ended their sit-in at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament after Leader of Opposition in the House Ghulam Nabi Azad announced a boycott of proceedings to protest against the suspensions and the alleged forcible passage of farm bills in the upper House two days ago.

Azad told the House that the boycott would continue till the eight suspended MPs were brought back, to which the government said it was ready provided the errant MPs regretted their behaviour with Deputy Chairman Harivansh during the passage of farm bills.

Azad said that till the government took back its “forcibly passed bills”, the boycott would continue.

Among the suspended MPs who sat on dharna are TMC’s Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen; Congress’s Rajeev Satav, Ripun Bora and Nazir Hussain; and AAP’s Sanjay Singh.

Also read: Rajya Sabha deputy chairman expresses anguish at ‘humiliating’ conduct towards him in House, announces 24-hour fast

Harivansh brings tea for protesting MPs; told he was in the wrong; PM praises him

Ending the dharna, Dola Sen said: “After many Opposition parties have boycotted the remainder of the Monsoon Session of Rajya Sabha, the dharna has ended. Now we will take our fight for the rights of the farmers to every town and village in the country.”

Meanwhile, the Congress hit back after Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman announced a day-long fast against the unfortunate turn of events in the House and wrote a letter conveying the same to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.

“After brazenly violating rules, procedures and practices for passing bills and making laws, the Deputy Chairman is shedding crocodile tears for parliamentary democracy. Token fast is nothing but a farce. Hypocrisy will not wash away the sin of doing injustice to India’s farmers,” said Anand Sharma, Congress deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha.

Congress chief whip in the Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh said the Opposition was boycotting proceedings for seven reasons.

“The manner in which the bills have been bulldozed by the government; the manner in which eight MPs were suspended without a division on suspension motion as is the practice; the manner in which the Leader of the Opposition has not been allowed to speak; the manner in which the government has simply failed to accommodate the views of the opposition; the manner in which crucial bills have not been referred to select or standing committees, the manner in which division was not allowed on two agriculture marketing bills, the manner in which MSP was not made part of the farm laws and not made applicable to private trade,” Jairam said, citing reasons for opposition boycott of the Rajya Sabha unless the government made amends.

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