On a day Speaker Sumitra Mahajan
suspended six Congress
Lok Sabha members for causing “grave disorder”, the Opposition
parties said they would unitedly continue to raise issues, particularly of agrarian distress, in both the Houses.
As a mark of unity, the Congress-led Opposition
is mulling a public rally in the capital and protests in several parts of the country, to highlight farm distress and farmer suicides. It said that the policies of the Narendra Modi government, including demonetisation, have exacerbated farm distress.
The date for the protests is yet to be fixed. According to sources, the protests are likely to take place between August 15 and August 27. Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad has also planned an “Opposition
unity” rally in Patna on August 27.
The speaker suspended the six Congress
members of Parliament
(MPs) for five consecutive sittings in the House for causing “grave disorder” by storming the Well, tearing papers and throwing them towards the Chair during their protests over a lynching. The Speaker said the conduct of Gaurav Gogoi, K Suresh, Adhir Rajan Chowdhury, Ranjeet Ranjan, Sushmita Dev and M K Raghavan was “highly unbecoming” and had undermined the dignity of the Chair.
The Speaker, and later Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, said the members were unruly despite the government having agreed to a discussion on the issue of atrocities against Dalits and Muslims.
Sushmita Dev said it was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members who created a ruckus and prevented a discussion. She said the BJP government was trying to “intimidate” the Opposition
with its “brute majority” in the Lok Sabha. The Congress
MP also alleged that BJP’s Anurag Thakur “was caught filming the proceedings of the House”, which is forbidden under rules and action should be taken against him.
leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien said the government was trying to break Opposition
unity, but it won’t succeed. “We will continue to raise issues of public concern,” he said.
parties plan to have a strategy meeting on Tuesday morning. They plan to raise three-four important issues and not interrupt each other.
will not be silenced by such undemocratic tactics of the govt. This is a battle for constitutional values of our country," Communist Party of India (Marxist) chief Sitaram Yechury tweeted.