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Parliament logjam: Congress continues protest; govt says willing to go extra mile

Senior Congress party leaders including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were seen standing near the Gandhi statue with black flags and placards.

Written by Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 5, 2015 12:48:24 pm
parliament Congress MPs protesting outside Parliament on Tuesday.

The Congress party on Wednesday continued their protest outside Parliament complex against Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s decision to suspend 25 MPs for disrupting House proceedings.

Senior party leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, were seen standing near the Gandhi statue with black flags and placards.

“We have not liked the decision of the Speaker to suspend our MPs but we respect her position,” Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi told reporters this morning.

The government, however, has expressed its desire to resolve the impasse as key legislation including the Land Bill and GST Bill  and a statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Naga peace deal are pending.

“The government is willing to go the extra mile but we can’t give in to unreasonable demands,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said.

Late Tuesday evening, reports suggested that Mahajan may revoke the suspension of the 25 MPs but a decision is yet to be taken. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, however, said she was not aware of any proposal by the government to end the logjam and that the protest would continue on Thursday.

Speaking at The Indian Express hours after she suspended the MPs on Monday, Mahajan had said she was not stubborn and that she took the decision for the greater good of Parliament.

“I have not taken the decision immediately. This has been happening for the past eight days. So I tried. I told them, please don’t do that. Yes, you must have some demand but you can discuss. There are so many rules.”

In Rajya Sabha, Congress MPs rushed to the Well of the House protesting against what they term was the dictatorial attitude of the government. Chairman Hamid Ansari then adjourned the House till 12 pm.

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