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Friday, October 30, 2020

Opposition to boycott Rajya Sabha till ‘three demands’ met; suspended MPs end sit-in protest

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu made a fresh appeal to members of all opposition parties to rethink their decision of boycotting the House proceedings.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 22, 2020 2:29:31 pm
Opposition lawmakers walk out of Rajya Sabha on Tuesday,

Several Opposition parties led by the Congress staged a walkout from Rajya Sabha demanding Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to reinstate the eight members who were suspended for “unruly behavior” during House proceedings. While the Congress was the first to exit the House along with members of the AAP, TMC and Left parties, they were later joined by the NCP, SP, Shiv Sena and RJD.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Opposition will boycott the proceedings of the House till the Government accepts their three demands.

“Government to bring another bill under which no private player can purchase below MSP, MSP to be fixed under formula recommended by Swaminathan Commission, and Government agencies like FCI shouldn’t buy crops below MSP,” Azad said.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu made a fresh appeal to members of all opposition parties to rethink their decision of boycotting the House proceedings.

“I appeal to all members to rethink their decision of boycott and participate in the discussion,” Naidu said in the House.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said: “The government is not hell-bent upon keeping the suspended MPs out of the House,” he says.

“If they express regret, the government will look into it.”

Former PM HD Deve Gowda said the government and Opposition should sit together to run the House.

Meanwhile, the eight suspended lawmakers ended their sit-in protest inside the Parliament House complex after the Opposition decided to boycott the remaining session in the Upper House.

“All the opposition parties have boycotted the rest of the session (in Rajya Sabha), nobody is attending the session. They appealed to us to withdraw the dharma and since nobody is attending the session till the suspension is revoked, there is no point in continuing with the dharna,” suspended Congress MP Nasir Hussain told PTI.

Hussain said all eight collectively decided to call off the protest.

Another Congress MP Rajeev Satav said they called off the protest since the Opposition has boycotted the remaining Rajya Sabha session, and added that they will now hit the streets against the farm bills.

The sit-in protest began on Monday and continued past midnight, with the eight MPs pulling off an all-nighter on the complex lawns .

On Tuesday morning,  before the Parliament proceedings began, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh arrived with tea and snacks for the protesting MPs.

The gesture earned him praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “To personally serve tea to those who attacked and insulted him a few days ago as well as those sitting on Dharna shows that Shri Harivansh Ji has been blessed with a humble mind and a big heart. It shows his greatness. I join the people of India in congratulating Harivansh Ji,” PM Modi tweeted.

with PTI inputs

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