Parts of the MP's speech in the House were expunged. (file)
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien has written to the Rajya Sabha Chairman demanding that his entire speech on July 20 in the House be put on record as he had "rightfully" questioned the government on the alarming situation in Manipur.
Parts of the MP's speech in the House were expunged.
"Phrases from my point of order on 20 July 2023 were expunged by the exercise of the Presiding Officer's discretion. The Point of Order made by me on July 20, 2023, was an attempt as leader of one of the largest opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha, to duly and rightfully question the Prime Minister and the Government in power about the alarming and distressful law and order situation in the state of Manipur," Mr O'Brien wrote.
"The Point of Order made by me and the questions asked therein were within the true essence of democracy and anything but 'Unparliamentary'. I had simply asked for the Prime Minister to speak up on Manipur in Parliament," he said.
Derek O'Brien said last year, the Lok Sabha Secretariat issued a booklet listing down words and expressions that were to be regarded as "unparliamentary" including commonly used words such as ashamed, abused, betrayed, corrupt, drama, hypocrisy, and incompetent.
"A close perusal of the above mentioned makes it apparent that recent additions to this list are replete with words that have been explicitly used in recent years by the Opposition to describe the Union government," he said.
The TMC MP alleged that the act of declaring words used to criticise the government in power as "anti-union" or "unparliamentary" is a blatant attempt at muzzling the opposition.
"The problem is not that the Constitution does not guarantee free speech, but that it is easy to silence free speech because of a combination of overbroad laws like this one. In light of the above and in light of the power bestowed upon the Hon'ble Chairman, I demand that my full speech be put on record," Mr O'Brien said.
The situation in Manipur has been a bone of contention between the opposition and the government since Parliament's Monsoon session began on Monday.
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