8 Suspended Rajya Sabha Members Refuse To Leave, Later Protest Outside

The suspended members refused to leave the house while the opposition protested loudly against the action, causing five adjournments of the Rajya Sabha.

New Delhi: Eight opposition members were suspended today from the Rajya Sabha for the rest of the session over the unprecedented chaos in the house during the passing of controversial farm bills on Sunday, but they refused to leave. The members, including Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’Brien, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Sanjay singh, Congress’s Rajeev Satav and CPM’s KK Ragesh, were told they had displayed “unruly behavior especially with the Chair and gross disorderly conduct”.

The suspended members refused to leave the house while the opposition protested loudly against the action, causing five adjournments of the Rajya Sabha. The opposition said the members should have been given a chance to explain and demanded a vote on their suspension, but the Rajya Sabha said the decision was based on a government motion.

“I am pained at what happened yesterday. It defies logic. It is a bad day for Rajya Sabha,” said Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu.

He said the members threw papers, wrenched mics away, “physically threatened” Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh and even abused him.

“I am naming Mr Derek O Brien. Please go out of the house,” Mr Naidu said, as he named the suspended members.

But the eight suspended MPs didn’t budge, even after the house adjourned, and one of them even called for a blanket and pillows for an overnight stake-out. Later, they protested on the lawns of the Parliament Complex, holding up placards that read – “We will fight for farmers” and “parliament assassinated”.

“When the chairman names a member then that member has to leave the House. Never before has a member defied the orders of the Chair. Eight suspended MPs had misbehaved, it was a type of ”goondaism”. They have proved that they have no trust in democracy,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters.

Two of the government’s three farm bills, which have led to massive protests by opposition parties and farmers, were passed on Sunday amid an uproar in the Rajya Sabha.

He said the members threw papers, wrenched mics away, “physically threatened” Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh and even abused him.

“I am naming Mr Derek O Brien. Please go out of the house,” Mr Naidu said, as he named the suspended members.

But the eight suspended MPs didn’t budge, even after the house adjourned, and one of them even called for a blanket and pillows for an overnight stake-out. Later, they protested on the lawns of the Parliament Complex, holding up placards that read – “We will fight for farmers” and “parliament assassinated”.

“When the chairman names a member then that member has to leave the House. Never before has a member defied the orders of the Chair. Eight suspended MPs had misbehaved, it was a type of ”goondaism”. They have proved that they have no trust in democracy,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters.

Two of the government’s three farm bills, which have led to massive protests by opposition parties and farmers, were passed on Sunday amid an uproar in the Rajya Sabha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing a Bihar event via video link, dedicated much of his speech to defending the farm bills, calling them “historic and necessary” for the country to move forward in the 21st Century. He said the opposition was misleading farmers with lies about them being cheated out of Minimum Support Price (MSP) as they “felt control slipping away”.

The government says the bills will make it easier for farmers to sell their produce directly to big buyers, reform antiquated laws and remove middlemen from agriculture trade, allowing farmers to sell to institutional buyers and large retailers. But the opposition argues that farmers will lose their bargaining power if retailers have tighter control over them. The parties also believe the proposed laws will destroy wholesale markets which ensure fair and timely payments to farmers, weaken the state’s farmers by ranging them against big business, and hit the overall state economy.

Source: NDTV

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