"MPs Have Right To Seek Clarification": Sharad Pawar Slams Mass Suspension

Record suspensions continued in Parliament Tuesday with 48 more MPs suspended from the Lok Sabha, to add to the 92 ejected over Monday and last week.

'MPs Have Right To Seek Clarification': Sharad Pawar Slams Mass Suspension
New Delhi:

NCP boss Sharad Pawar - one of a handful of opposition MPs left in Parliament after unprecedented mass suspensions - on Tuesday expressed concern after the ejection of nearly 100 lawmakers for "unruly conduct" during explosive protests over last week's security breach. Mr Pawar, a member of the Rajya Sabha, wrote to Chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar lamenting the large-scale suspensions.

"The decision to suspend Members of Parliament seeking an explanation for this incident seems counterintuitive to the principals of accountability and transparency. Members of Parliament have a legitimate right to seek clarification, and ensure the safety of the parliamentary environment."

Mr Pawar stressed the MPs' furious protests only reflected the "severity of the incident" and said "... it is but natural that Members of Parliament would seek a clarification... and the government should have been more forthcoming with a statement as to how it intends to address the issue."

"It is, however, disheartening that not only has the government distanced itself from such a statement but has taken suspended members (for) seeking an explanation or statement..."

The veteran politician also pointed out that some MPs who had not engaged "in 'continuous' disruption" had also been thrown out of Parliament for the rest of this session, which is the final full sitting before next year's general election.

In a move that shocked political observers, Parliament suspended 78 MPs on Monday. This was in addition to the 14 ejected last week for vociferously demanding that either Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Home Minister Amit Shah make a formal statement to the House on the security breach.

MPs suspended from the Lok Sabha included Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Gaurav Gogoi, the Congress' top two leaders in the House, as well as the Trinamool's Kalyan Banerjee, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, and Saugata Ray, and A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran of Tamil Nadu's ruling DMK.

From the Rajya Sabha, the Congress' Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Singh Surjewala, the DMK's Kanimozhi, and the Rashtriya Janata Dal's Manoj Kumar Jha were among those suspended.

The record suspensions continued Tuesday with 48 more MPs suspended from the Lok Sabha.

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