New Delhi: At least 18 opposition parties on Monday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind regarding the way the contentious farm bills were passed, or what they called “total murder of democracy” as Rajya Sabha suspended eight parliamentarians for the rest of Monsoon Session 2020. The leaders urged the President not to grant his assent to the proposed legislations.Also Read - Gurjeet Singh Aujla, TN Prathapan and Seven Other Lok Sabha MPs Likely To Be Suspended For Throwing Papers At Chair
The memorandum was signed by political parties including the Congress, the Left, NCP, DMK, Samajwadi Party, Shiv Sena, JDS, TMC, as well as RJD, among others, as they sought President Kovind’ intervention into the farmer agitation and asked him not to approve the bills. Also Read - Breaking News Highlights: Gujarat Govt Reduces Night Curfew Timing by 1 Hour
“We, belonging to diverse political parties cutting across India’s political and geographical spectrum, bring this representation to you to respectfully draw your urgent attention to the absolute and total murder of democracy, ironically in the most hallowed temple of democracy, parliament,” read the letter to President Kovind. Also Read - Breaking News Highlights: Mamata to Meet Sonia Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal Tomorrow
“We pray that you return the bills and do not append your signature,” it added.
In a dramatic turn of events, eight members – distributed among the Congress, CPI (M), Trinamool Congress and the AAP – were suspended earlier in the day for the remainder of the Parliament session over their “unruly behaviour” during the passage of farm Bills in the Upper House.
Notably, the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 have been passed by voice vote in both Houses of the Parliament amid huge uproar by farmers in Punjab and Haryana. While the Opposition has been protesting unprecedentedly against the ordinances, the Centre has dubbed them as the biggest reform in agriculture.
Carrying pillows and blankets at the protest site, Opposition MPs said “We will not budge… Suspension won’t silence us. We will stand with farmers in their fight. The (Rajya Sabha) Deputy chairman throttled parliamentary procedures yesterday.”
“Suspension of MPs exposed the coward face of the BJP. People will see through the attempt to divert attention from their undemocratic actions,” said CPI(M) MP Elamaram Kareem, who is also among the barred.
The government had moved a motion seeking the suspension of Derek O’Brien (TMC), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Rajeev Satav (Congress), K K Ragesh (CPM), Syed Nazir Hussain (Congress), Ripun Boren (Congress), Dola Sen (TMC) and Elamaram Kareem (CPM).
Earlier on Sunday, TMC MP Derek O’Brien along with a few other Opposition MPs climbed the Rajya Sabha Chair and tried to tear the rule book as a mark of protest.