Eight Opposition MPs refuse to leave Rajya Sabha despite suspension

Lawmakers violated “rules and etiquettes” in their conduct with Deputy Chairman on Sunday, says Minister.

Rajya Sabha on Monday suspended eight Opposition MPs for their “unruly” behaviour with Deputy Chairman Harivansh on Sunday during the debate and voting on the two farm sector Bills. 

Chairman of Rajya Sabha M. Venkaiah Naidu also rejected the Opposition’s no-confidence motion against the Deputy Chairman, saying the notice was not in proper format.

However the suspended MPs refused to leave the House and the day’s proceedings saw repeated disruptions and adjournments.

After four adjournments, Vice-Chairman Bhubaneswar Kalita adjourned the House till 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

Speaking on the events of Sunday after the completion of Zero Hour and special mentions, Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said the incidents were unfortunate and that the image of Parliament had been “tarnished”.

He said some members had entered the well of the House, thrown papers, broke microphones and abused the Deputy Chairman while two farm Bills were being discussed. He added that Deputy Chairman had been physically threatened.

“It pained me a lot because what happened yesterday in the house is unfortunate, unacceptable and condemnable,” Mr Naidu said, adding that the members had also violated the COVID-19-related protocols.

He said the Deputy Chairman would have called for voting, which was the demand of the protesting MPs, had the House been in order.

Mr. Naidu also rejected the Opposition’s notice of no-confidence against the Deputy Chairman for not allowing a division of votes. Stating that he had received a letter from Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and 46 other MPs, Mr. Naidu said the no-confidence notice was not in the proper format and that the 14 day-notice period was not followed as the session is set to end on October 1. 

The government then moved a motion for suspension of eight MPs — Trinamool Congress MPs Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen, Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh, Congress MPs Rajeev Satav, Syed Nazir Hussain and Ripun Bora and Communist Party of India (Marxist) MPs K.K. Ragesh and Elamaram Kareem — which was passed by voice vote amid the commotion.

The motion moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister of State V. Muraleedharan sought to suspend the eight MPs for “unruly behaviour especially with the Chair and their gross disorderly conduct in violation of the rules and etiquette of Rajya Sabha thereby bringing disrepute to this august house and causing insult to the Office of the Hon’ble Deputy Chairman” for one week or the remainder of the current part of the session.

Speaking to reporters, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the Opposition MPs who continued to stay in the House after being suspended “do not have trust in institutions”.

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