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Shashi Tharoor to not host Sansad TV till suspension of Rajya Sabha MPs revoked

"The prolonged suspension of 12 MPs from the Rajya Sabha, expelled in an arbitrary manner for actions committed during a previous session, has called into question the very assumption of a bipartisan spirit animating the work of Parliament," Tharoor said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: December 6, 2021 11:44:13 am
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and TMC MP Mahua Moitra click a selfie, while protesting against the suspension of MPs during the Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday stated that he will not host the talk show “To The Point” for Sansad TV until the suspension of a dozen Rajya Sabha members is revoked.

“As an MP who has gone every morning to greet the protestors and express my solidarity with them, I am concerned that my continued involvement in hosting a show on Sansad TV would be seen as making me complicit in the undemocratic manner in which Parliamentary institutions are being run,” Tharoor said in a statement.

He went on to accuse the Sansad TV of “being part of the problem”, stating that “adverse comments have been made by many on its habit of having cameras focus on the members of the Treasury benches while ignoring the Opposition.”

His statement comes a day after Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, one of the suspended members, stepped down as the host of Sansad TV’s “Meri Kahaani”, stating, “I believe it is my duty that when today the highest number of women MPs have been suspended in the recorded history of Rajya Sabha for an entire session for speaking up for the people of this country then I need to speak up for them.”

Twelve MPs were suspended from the Upper House for alleged unruly conduct towards the end of the monsoon session in August when marshals were called after Opposition members stormed the Well of the House during the passage of the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021. The suspended members comprise six from the Congress, two each from Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena, and one each from CPI and CPM.

“The prolonged suspension of 12 MPs from the Rajya Sabha, expelled in an arbitrary manner for actions committed during a previous session, has called into question the very assumption of a bipartisan spirit animating the work of Parliament,” Tharoor said.

The senior Congress leader was brought on board the Sansad TV, a merger of Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV, to host a chat show featuring interviews of eminent personalities. “I believed that my accepting Sansad TV’s invitation to host a show was in the best traditions of India’s parliamentary democracy, reaffirming the principle that our political differences did not prevent us, as Members of Parliament, from participating fully in various parliamentary institutions which belong to us all,” Tharoor said on Monday.

He added that he has decided to suspend hosting of the talk show “until such time as the suspensions of MPs are revoked and a semblance of bipartisanship restored to the conduct of Parliament and the functioning of Sansad TV.”

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