The Narendra Modi government's resolution to suspend opposition MPs from the Rajya Sabha over protests over the farm bills was proof that the centre was trying to mute "democratic India", Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted today shortly after eight opposition members were suspended from the Upper House.
Eight opposition members -- Trinamool Congress's Derek O'Brien, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s Sanjay Singh, Congress's Rajeev Satav and CPM's KK Ragesh -- were suspended this morning for "unruly behavior" during the passing of controversial agriculture-related bills on Sunday.
Mr Gandhi said that the passing of the "black agriculture laws" without addressing the concerns of the farmers raised by the opposition MPs was proof of the endless arrogance of the government.
"'Muting Of Democratic India' continues: by initially silencing and later, suspending MPs in the Parliament and turning a blind eye to farmers' concerns on the black agriculture laws. This 'omniscient' Govt's endless arrogance has brought economic disaster for the entire country," Mr Gandhi tweeted.
'Muting Of Democratic India' continues: by initially silencing and later, suspending MPs in the Parliament & turning a blind eye to farmers' concerns on the black agriculture laws.- Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 21, 2020
This ‘omniscient' Govt's endless arrogance has brought economic disaster for the entire country.
Mr Gandhi's reference on "silencing" opposition came a day after his party accused Rajya Sabha deputy chairman of seemingly colluding with the ruling BJP for the passage of the two controversial farm bills by parliament.
"Without taking the sense of the house, within a second the deputy chairman went for passing this bill. We didn't see such a practice from any house so far. We didn't understand such a movement from deputy chairman... The fundamental right of a member has been curtailed," Congress Rajya Sabha member KC Venugopal said at a news briefing on Sunday evening.
This morning, the Opposition MPs were suspended following a resolution by the government in the Upper House. Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, while announcing the decision, said that the MPs displayed "unruly behavior especially with the Chair and gross disorderly conduct".
"I am pained at what happened yesterday. It defies logic. It is a bad day for Rajya Sabha," Mr Naidu said.
He said the members threw papers, wrenched mics away, "physically threatened" Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh and even abused him.
"I am naming Mr Derek O Brien. Please go out of the house," Mr Naidu said, as he named the suspended members. The opposition members, however, refused to budge forcing the Chair to adjourn the House for the day.
The passage of the controversial bills related to the agriculture sector -- which had sparked furious protests from farmers - were cleared by the Rajya Sabha amid unprecedented chaos and uproar on Sunday.
AAP's Sanjay Singh and Congress leader Rajiv Satav climbed onto the Secretary General's table at the centre of the house while Trinamool MP Derek O'Brien waved a rulebook in front of the Chairperson and tried to tear it up and some members pulled out mics at their seats amid the high drama, which led to a 10-minute adjournment of the house.
At one point, marshals formed a wall between the Deputy Chairman and the protesting members.
The bills, which were cleared in the Lok Sabha earlier, will now go to the President for sign-off before becoming law.