JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav and senior party leader K C Tyagi joined the Congress protest that Sonia Gandhi has led since Monday against the suspension of 25 party MPs. The RJD’s Jaya Prakash Narayan Yadav turned up at the protest for the second day.
With assembly polls due this year, Bihar is a key component uniting these parties both outside Parliament and while making floor strategy.
Opposition parties the Samajwadi Party, the RJD and the NCP walked out of the Lok Sabha while members of the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and other parties continued to boycott the House. Members of the Left parties and the Indian Union Muslim League skipped the House for the second consecutive day.
The Trinamool Congress, however, did not attend the Congress protest on Tuesday although it has joined it in the boycott of Parliament. Left Front leaders including the CPI’s D Raja went to the venue outside Parliament, as did the Samajwadi Party’s Dharmendra Yadav.
CPM and CPI members boycotted the House but the CPM’s P Karunakaran said they would attend it Thursday and request Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to withdraw the suspensions. They will then stage a walkout as was done Wednesday by SP, NCP and RJD members. Dharmendra Yadav said his party’s MPs had walked out as they were not allowed to make their point.
“We will continue the agitation tomorrow,” Sonia said after the protest. To a question, she said she was not aware of any proposal from the government to end the logjam or for revocation of the suspension.
Congress chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia ruled out any apology by the suspended MPs and alleged that the Speaker has been partial. “Where is the question of an apology? What wrong has been done? Carrying placards has been going on for the past 65 years,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi said. “We have not liked the Lok Sabha Speaker’s decision… but we respect her position.”