"No Remorse", MPs' Suspension Not Revoked; Opposition Walks Out: 10 Facts
Parliament Session: Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said the House suspended 12 MPs.
Here are the top 10 points in this big story:
The suspension will remain as the MPs "haven't expressed remorse", Mr Naidu said. "Suspended MPs have not expressed remorse. I am not considering the appeal of Leader of Opposition (the Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge). Suspension will not be revoked," he said.
Minutes earlier Mr Kharge argued the government's move to suspend the MPs (the list includes six from the Congress) was "selective" and against the rules. "I request you to revoke suspension of 12 opposition MPs... have been suspended selectively," he said.
"Every Member should be allowed to make a Point of Order... Rule says Chairman has to take name of MP first and then a Question has to be made prior to suspension. Then a Motion for Suspension can be moved. This has to be on the day of the incident. In the present case, none of the MPs were named before the motion," he explained.
After Mr Naidu said the suspension stood, the opposition, joined by the Trinamool, walked out. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's party - widely seen as making a run at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP in the 2024 election - stayed away from today's opposition meeting.
Mr Naidu said the opposition had "every right to walk out". "In a democracy... in Parliament... they (the opposition) can walk out (but) House must function.... I am making (this) clarification because of the point (about) no discussion on farm law bills... if we continue this trend people will lose (faith) in the system. You don't like government... go to the people. I am not here to help the government."
The Rajya Sabha Chairman also shut down complaints that there is no precedent on action being taken against MPs for actions in a previous session. Rule 256, under which the 12 have been suspended, says a MP can be suspended "for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session".
Earlier 16 parties - not including the Trinamool - met Mr Naidu. They said that if the suspension is not revoked, they intend to boycott today's Rajya Sabha session. The 16 included the Congress, the DMK, the Shiv Sena and NCP, the CPM and CPI, the RJD, J&K's National Conference, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, and the Aam Aadmi Party.
There have also been protests in the Lok Sabha too, where opposition parties, including the Trinamool, have also walked out after members of the TRS protested in the Well.
Yesterday (the first day of the winter session), 12 MPs, including the Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi, were suspended. The opposition called it "unwarranted and undemocratic". The Congress' Abhishek Singhvi pointed out it skewed voting numbers. "By suspending 12 MPs from Rajya Sabha, BJP has gone ahead of majority... Can easily pass listed bills through the upper house now," he tweeted.
This morning Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the government had been "forced" to suspend the MPs for "misbehaviour" related to the events of August 11, the last day of the previous session, but was ready to consider revoking the suspension if they apologised.